DISCUSSIONS

DISCUSSIONS

6.1 INTRODUCTION

The causes and impacts of watDISCUSSIONS

6.1 INTRODUCTION

The causes and impacts of water pollution are direct and indirect and have many dimensions. In this chapter, it has been tried to discuss all such relationships. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which are the tools in decision making for sustainable development are also discussed. Many scientists in the recent past have published good literature on environmental impacts (Gevirtz (1977), Doremus (1978), Petak (1980), Prahalad (1987), Smith (1993), Wood (1995), Wiesner (1995) and Larry (1996)).

6.2 ECOSPHERE

The ecosphere is part of geoecosphere or earth. Geoecosphere is defined as the interacting terrestrial life and life supporting systems viz. toposphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere and biosphere. The interaction of ecosphere with life and other spheres is shown in Figure 6.1. The sustainability of life on geoecosphere depends on the quality of all the above spheres. The rate of change of each geoecospheric component depends on all other spheres too (Richard, 1995). Human beings, being an inherent component of biosphere contribute to the overall sustainability or otherwise of the entire geoecosphere in our own unique way. Industrial outfits; the manifestation of human activity, are clustered to certain zones, very often in and around urban areas. The physical, chemical and biological nature of ecosphere itself is altered as a result of the activities like industrialisation, infrastructure development, etc. Industrialisation often involves generation of different byproducts, which at times are toxic in nature. The hydrosphere (water) and atmosphere (air) act as two important and fast couriers for the dispersal of different waste products generated in the above processes. The hazardous solid waste, which appears immobile, becomes a source for water pollution through leachets. Thus, preservation, protection and conservation of hydrosphere and atmosphere components attain vital significance.

6.3 HYDROSPHERE

As discussed above, the preservation of hydrosphere is vital and this is even substantiated in the study area too. The hydrosphere of Nakkavagu basin suffers mainly from deterioration of quality of water. The high degree of the presence of the pollutants in the water environment of Nakkavagu basin during the last two decades had deteriorated the environment of Nakkavagu basin.

6.4 ROLE OF hUMAN ACTIVITIES ON ENVIRONMENT

The increase in intensity of human activities with the progress of mankind is responsible for the environmental problems on earth. Man is the dominant species on earth in sheer numbers and capacity to change the natural environment can be considered a geological agent of action. The impact of man is largely seen on land and to a lesser extent on sea. On land or at sea the activity is limited to the surface environment only.

In biosphere there is no other species as dominant as man. World Population is increasing exponentially; therefore, earth is overburdened by the present about six billion population. The carrying capacity of earth is reaching a stage of non-sustenance. The progress of human beings at present is at the cost of snatching the living rights of about 30 million species, sharing the living space on this unique planet-earth. Human activity within last three centuries wiped out many species from this earth. Many species are getting extinct even before their discovery.

The development and progress of human beings can be attributed to the geological resources bestowed to human beings by earth. The progress and prosperity of human beings is accelerated mainly by the use of water and minerals (including soil). The irrigation facilities and fertile soil prospered agricultural activity, a very old sector in existence for the past more than 5000 years. Although development of settled agriculture is the precursor for human development, it accelerated only with the usage of implements and domestication of animals. Although the devastation of environment and ecology started since the time man started agriculture, but it accelerated only since industrial revolution.

Extensive discovery and usage of minerals led to industrial development, which accelerated only since 18th century, started in Europe. The raw material for industries involves mining – stripping the earth, these minerals excavated are then concentrated and complex chemicals are formed out of them. In the process of production, only minor part of the raw material turns into the finished product, rest of the chemicals is released as waste into the environment. The hazardous chemicals let into environment are the cause of concern.

6.5 WATER CONTAMINATION

Inorganic, organic and synthetic chemical wastes released by industries in Patancheru are the main causes of water pollution. Synthetic chemicals are the substances never produced in nature, many of these chemicals are so stable that they cannot be broken down by the existing Common Effluent Treatment (CET) process.

Ponds, tanks, lakes, streams and rivers are the natural chemical laboratories for all kinds of chemical reactions. The presence of sunlight, wind, convection currents in water, and the potential energy of the stream mixes and stirs water. Creation of harmful chemicals from harmless chemicals in natural lab is taking place on a wider scale. In routine test’s thousands of complex organic and inorganic chemicals, those resulting from reactions in the natures lab, are not analysed. The impact of all those chemicals on biota dependent on those waters are never known. In situations where degree of toxicity of chemicals is beyond the detection capability of human senses, gravity of the problem is occasionally revealed by the death of domestic animals, fish, etc., as it is happening in Nakkavagu basin. In the past two decades hundreds of cattle, sheep and other domestic animals died after consuming polluted waters, such incidents are reported in the press from time to time.

6.6 INDUSTRIES AND POLLUTION

Environment is being polluted by the release of many hazardous substances by the industries into water, air and soil (Figure 6.2). Many of the substances that are found in polluted environment, were not involved during the evolution of life, therefore they are toxic. Among the 108 elements in the periodic table, 80 are metals and only 17 of these are toxic viz. Be, Se, Os, Cd, Pb, Hg, As, Tl, Sb, V, Cr, Te, Ni, Co, Zn, U and Mn. Among the above following metals are analysed Se, As, Cd, Pb, Hg, Cr and Zn of which Hg, As, Se and Pb are found to be polluting the water environment of Nakkavagu basin (Ref: Chapter – V).

Man knows more than seven million chemicals and some 80,000 are in common use. The carbon-based chemicals account over 90 percent of world production of organic chemicals and a large proportion of fertilisers. About 800 to 1000 new chemical compounds are introduced each year (Struan, 1990). The presence of large number of pharmaceutical and chemical industries in and around Patancheru is responsible for releasing organic chemicals into the environment.

Water is an important medium for spreading toxic substances in the environment. Water also helps in chemical reactions among dissolved substances; therefore water is a kind of chemical reactor in nature’s lab, which can alter chemical composition and thereby the toxicity of many substances. Water molecules cause ionisation. Ions are reactive, and form different substances, which could be more or less, toxic, dissolvable, volatile and able to bioconcentrate. The less oxygen combined with the metal and the more acid in the water, the more dissolvable the metal. Dissolved metals are easily taken up by plants and ingested by animals.

The industrial pollution can be broadly classified into inorganic and organic pollution. Inorganics from industrial sources can be broadly divided into metals, salts, and acids and bases. The metals are usually found in low concentrations near localised sources of pollution, but this is balanced by their high human toxicity. Because they are adsorbed onto minerals their mobility is restricted. Trace metals are the metals present in the environment or in the human body in very low concentrations, such as copper, iron, and zinc. Heavy metals are those trace metals whose densities are at least five times greater than water, such as cadmium, lead and mercury. Toxic metals are all those metals whose concentrations in the environment are now considered to be harmful at least to some people in some places. Once mobile, metals find their way by many ways into the biotic systems through, water, food and air. Chronic poisoning by long term exposure to low levels of metals is of more concern then acute effects. Organo-metallic compounds are more poisonous than the simple inorganic compounds as they are highly soluble for example alkyl-mercuric compounds.

Industrial processing often involves derivation of salts as various by-products. Anions from salts are very mobile and move with the groundwater, cations are generally less mobile and undergo ion exchange or adsorption. Some salts contribute to pollution primarily by their high concentration levels; other salts like arsenic contribute to pollution because of their toxicity. Acids and bases in the groundwater are neutralised by aquifer rocks resulting in a salinity increase. Salt incrustations are commonly found along the banks of Nakkavagu and Pamulavagu and also in the fields using polluted waters for irrigation.

6.7 Industries and Micro-climate

The air pollution has far reaching impact on environment; the pollutants transported by air as suspended particulate matter or aerosols or in the form of various gases ultimately return back to earth elsewhere, through precipitation or dry deposition. There is every chance that such pollutants find their way into the water environment directly or indirectly. Smog formation and acid rains, which are the two mechanisms of air pollution, have the tendency to alter the microclimate of the region. Heat island effect is one of the direct / indirect symptoms of air pollution.

6.7.1 Smog

In the study area, the diurnal temperature variations are usually high. Occasionally on clear and calm winter night’s, temperature inversions are witnessed that leads to condensation just above the ground surface called fog. Particles of smoke and poisonous gases such as sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, etc., released from the industries couple with fog to form smog. The smog is a health hazard. The smog is more common in Patancheru industrial area especially in the low-lying areas during winters.

6.7.2 Acid rains

Acid rains are indirect sources of water pollution through air. The normal rain is slightly acidic (about pH 5), due to dissolved carbondioxide and other naturally occurring acids in the atmosphere. Rain with pH less than normal values in a region are called acid rain. The air pollutants like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide etc., are released into the environment in an industrial area. Under dry conditions in atmosphere the gases react chemically with sunlight results in photochemical smog, it is a foul smelling yellowish haze rich in ozone, running eyes and noses, coughing are the symptoms, sometimes can lead to death. The photochemical smog cannot be ignored. Under wet conditions in atmosphere, like the presence of clouds, precipitation leads to acid rains. Acidity of rainwater, flowing into streams and lakes is reduced by rocks containing calcium which neutralises the acid. The granite rocks in Nakkavagu basin, which contain little calcium, do not neutralise acid rain, so the acids enter rivers and destroy the ecosystem. pH less then 5.5 leads to reduction in fish numbers, and fish death occurs below pH 5. Acid rainwater releases aluminium from rocks, which is poisonous to fish and plants. Acid rain kills forests over large areas called ‘forest dieback’. The archaeological monuments like temples, mosques and graveyards plastered by mortar are etched or eaten away. The archaeological sites in and around Patancheru several hundred years old are under threat. Acid rains in and around industrial areas have the tendency to pollute surface water and groundwater resources.

6.7.3 Heat island

Industries contribute to the rise in atmospheric temperature called ‘Heat island’; this phenomenon is experimentally proved for many large cities. Industrial areas such as those concentrated in Nakkavagu basin too contribute largely for raise in temperatures and for changes in the local climatic conditions.

The heat in the industrial areas released by the machinery, exothermic chemical reactions, and vehicles, burning of fossil fuel, wood and from other heat energy sources. The continuous release of green house gases such as carbondioxide, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), etc., creates a bubble like shield of several square kilometers around an industrial area and the surrounding rural areas. There is usually high dust content in the air released by the various processes in an industrial area. The greenhouse gases and the dust allow the solar radiation but they prevent the out going long radiation, therefore heat is trapped. Consequently, the microclimate in and around an industrial area would be warmer then the surrounding open countryside. The dust particles and the gases like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, chlorine, fluorine, bromine, carbon monoxide, etc., are hygroscopic in nature encourage condensation, that leads to cloud cover, the clouds again act as heat blanket.

6.8 TOXICITY

The quantum of pollutant to which each individual is exposed is called the dose, and the amount of health damage is called the response. Dose is usually expressed in one of the three ways, a) The amount of substance actually in the body. b) The amount of the material entering the body (usually in food, drinking water, or the air). c) The concentration in the environment (Harte et al. 1991). Toxicity of pollutants is shown in hypothetical dose-response curve (Figure 6.3)

The assimilation of xenobiotic chemicals within organism at sub-lethal or lethal levels may induce a sequence of biological effects. These range from molecular interference with biochemical mechanisms and interactions with cellular organelles (e.g. DNA and RNA molecules), through to pathological changes at the cellular, tissue, and organ levels. Finally, these result in an integrated functional or behavioural response, experienced at the whole organism level, which may be reversible or irreversible (Des and Gregory, 1984).

Bio-magnification is an indirect route of pollutants reaching species at higher trophic levels, through an endless cyclic transfer of food material from life to life. Often the victims are identified lately and by the time of discovery a large community is under impact of pollution. This kind of pollution requires a thorough study of all the paths of food chains. Ultimately the estimation of impact of pollution on human beings is possible through epidemiological studies. It is the search for statistical associations between the occurrence of disease in a population and the factors suspected of causing the disease.

6.8.1 Toxics Found in Nakkavagu Basin

The following are the toxicants, which are being used by the industries in the production. Many of these toxicants would be consumed in part only for end product, rest of the chemicals are released as wastes, would pollute the water environment of Nakkavagu basin. The health and environmental impacts discussed are from Harte et al., 1991.

Acetone:

Other names: Dimethyl ketone; 2-propanone; pyroacetic ether; ketone propane.

Health Effects:

Inhalation of very high concentrations can depress the central nervous system, causing dizziness, weakness, and loss of consciousness. The presence of large amounts of acetone in the body can increase the liver toxicity of carbon tetrachloride. Ingestion of acetone causes central nervous system depression, high blood sugar levels, and high levels of acetone in the blood.

Ammonia:

Other names: Ammonia water; ammonium hydroxide.

Health effects:

The symptoms of ammonia exposure are a burning sensation (in the eyes, nose and throat), pain in the lungs, headache, nausea, tearing, coughing and an increased breathing rate. Concentrations are shown in table below.

Health effect

Concentration

Environmental effects:

Ammonia (NH3) adds nitrogen to the environment. In areas that cannot handle the added nitrogen, disruptions to the ecosystem will result. These include toxic effects on plants, fish, and animals and changes in the balance of species. Although ammonia is a base, it actually acidifies soil by its rapid conversion to nitrate (NO3), releasing hydrogen ions just like other acids.

Arsenic:

Physical and chemical properties: Arsenic and selenium are antagonistic toxins: exposure to one reduces the adverse effects of the other.

Health effects:

Lung cancer from inhaling arsenic and skin cancer from swallowing it are the two most dangerous effects of arsenic exposure for the general population. Inorganic is considered as the highest category of cancer-causing chemicals. Acute arsenic poisoning is characterised by severe gastrointestinal damage resulting in vomiting and diarrhea and general vascular collapse leading to shock, coma, and even death.

Environmental Effects:

Arsenic is toxic to plants in high concentrations. Eventually the trees may become totally unproductive.

Benzene:

Other Names: Benzol; carbon oil; coal tar naphtha; cyclohexatriene; phenyl hydride; pyrobenzole

Health effects: Acute exposure following ingestion or excessive inhalation depresses the central nervous system resulting in headache, dizziness, nausea, convulsions, coma, and possibly death. It is considered as carcinogen. Leukemia –induced death rate of 95 per 1000 workers based on an assumed lifetime occupational exposure.

Environmental effects: Benzene is a long term contaminant of groundwater because it cannot readily evaporate underground, and since little microbial activity occurs in underground water, it is not degraded.

Cadmium:

Health Effects:

Inhaled cadmium is associated with lung cancer in people. Chronic exposure to low levels of cadmium may also result in progressive lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Chronic exposure to cadmium is also associated with a wide range of other diseases, including heart disease, anemia, skeletal weakening, depressed immune system response, and kidney and live disease.

Environmental Effects:

Cadmium is strongly accumulated by organisms at all levels. Cadmium has the potential to concentrate in the food chain.

Copper:

Health Effects:

Copper deficiency leads to anemia, growth retardation, defective keratigization, hypothermia, mental deterioration etc. Excess copper leads to diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis tremor, kayser fleisher rings and renal dysfunction.

Chromium:

Health Effects:

Chromium metal appears to be biologically inert and no harmful effects have been reported. Chromium compounds are responsible for the majority of all adverse effects of chromium. Chromium can produce liver and kidney damage, internal haemorrhage, dermatitis, respiratory damage, and lung cancer. Longer-term exposures to the respiratory tract and skin can produce perforated and ulcerated nasal septa, inflammation of the nasal passages, frequent nose bleeds, and skin ulcers.

Dioxane:

Other Names: 1,4-Dioxane; p-dioxan; di(ethylene oxide); diethylene dioxide; diethylene ether; diethylene oxide.

Dioxane is a synthetic organic compound.

Health effects:

Chronic exposure to dioxane is also hazardous. Prolonged skin exposure can cause a rash or burn. Repeated exposure to levels that do not cause symptoms can lead to slowed central nervous system function and to liver and kidney damage. These symptoms may be delayed because the chemical has a tendency to accumulate in body tissue. When dioxane is present in chlorinated water, a highly toxic compound is formed. Its toxicity is 1000 times.

Environmental effects:

Dioxane could pose a toxic threat to the groundwater supplies if concentrations are high enough, because of slow microbial degradation and it cannot evaporate easily from groundwater.

Ethylene Dichloride (EDC):

Health effects:

Central nervous system and gastrointestinal problems such as dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, weak pulse, cyanosis, and unconsciousness. Kidney and liver damage. In mammals metabolism of EDC produces metabolites (including chloroacetaldehyde, chloroacetic acid, and chloroethanol) that appear to be several times more toxic than the parent compound. The metabolic products bind strongly to DNA than does EDC; such binding reactions are involved in the development of mutations, birth defects, and cancers.

Environmental effects:

Groundwater contaminant as evaporation rates from underground water is low.

Fluoride:

Health Effects:

The intake of small, recommended amounts of fluoride provides partial protection against tooth decay (dental caries). There is also evidence that small doses of fluoride can help stimulate bone growth in patients with osteoporosis. Over consumption leads to gastrointestinal illness, nausea, and vomiting. Long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride in drinking water can lead to a serious condition called severe skeletal fluorosis, or crippling fluorosis. In this disease, fluoride causes irregular bone deposits to form, which can lead to severe pain in joints and eventual crippling. Mottling of the teeth (dental fluorosis) is the most widespread effect of fluoride. As tooth enamel forms in childhood.

Formaldehyde:

Other Names: Formalin; Methyl aldehyde.

Highly water soluble, colourless gas with pungent odour and irritant properties.

Health effects: Formaldehyde is a possible carcinogen. Health effects at various concentrations are given in table below.

Effect

Concentration (in ppm)

Iron:

Health Effects:

Iron deficiency leads to anemia but exposure to excess iron leads to hepatitic failure, diabetes and testicular atrophy etc.

Lead:

Health Effects:

Lead affects the human nervous system, the production of blood cells, kidneys, reproductive system, and behaviour. The risks of lead poisoning are greatest in children and in pregnant women. Health effects at various blood lead levels are given in table below.
Health Effect

Blood Lead Concentration (ppb/100ml)

Manganese:

Health Effects:

Deficiency leads to bleeding disorder whereas excess leads to diseases such as encephalitis, psychosis, parkinson syndrome and pneumoconiosis.

Mercury:
Other Name: Quick silver

Health Effects:

In addition to pure mercury compounds of mercury can also be harmful. Methyl mercury accumulated in fish by biomagnification, is rapidly absorbed by people who eat such fish and can readily pass through the placenta of pregnant women, exposing developing fetuses, and through the blood-brain barrier into the brain. High exposure leads to damages to nervous system, Memory losses, tremors, emotional instability (anxiety and irritability), insomnia, and loss of appetite characterise milder exposures. Introversion appears to be the most prominent personality trait in affected people. At moderate exposures, more significant mental disorders and motor disturbances as well as kidney damage, are seen.

Environmental effects:

-Inorganic mercury discharges by industry are converted by bacteria water and in sediments to organic methylmercury. The organic form, methylmercury accumulates in aquatic food chain through the process of biomagnification.

-Acid rain and the increasing acidification of surface waters, more acidic conditions shift the organic mercury to forms that are more readily absorbed by fish (dimethyl to monomethylmercury), thus raising the levels in fish to which humans are ultimately exposed.

-Freshwater species are more vulnerable than marine species because selenium in seawater provides partial protection against mercury’s effects.

Methylene Chloride:

Other Names: Dichloromethene; methane dichloride; methylene dichloride

Health effects:

Methyl chloride is a common pollutant of air and groundwater. The major exposure is through inhalation. Methyl chloride readily absorbed once inside the lungs. Absorbed methylene chloride is distributed throughout the body and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. It can also be found in the breast milk of exposed women. Once inside the body, methylene chloride is rapidly converted to carbon monoxide, although it can also be stored in body fat. People exposed to high levels of methylene chloride show decreased manual performance and attention lapses. Heart arrhythmias and death have been ascribed to excessively high levels of the solvent in air. Methylene chloride may cause cancer.

Environmental Effects:

Methylene chloride stays in the groundwater for many years. It does not stick well to soil particles and thus allowing it to move great distances in an aquifer following its release into soil.

Nitrogen dioxide:
Health effects: Some health effects of Nitrogen Dioxide exposure

Effect

Concentration

Environmental Effects:

Nitric acid, the end product of nitrogen dioxide chemical reaction is the end product in air. Acid rain is a threat to plants and freshwater fauna.

Selenium:

Health Effects:

Selenium is the metallic element required in small amount for human health, but which in large quantities can be toxic. Chronic selenium poisoning results in loss of hair and fingernails, with disorders of skin, nervous system, and teeth also reported. Selenium has shown to reduce the toxicity of cadmium, inorganic and dimethyl mercury, thallium, and silver by altering the way these metals react in the body.

Environmental Effects:

Selenium intoxication of farm animals is a well-known condition that accumulates selenium from soils rich in the substance. Chronic ingestion over periods of weeks or months can produce two conditions; the blind staggers-affected animals have impaired vision and alkali disease-signs include liver cirrhosis, hoof malformations, loss of hair and emaciation.

Sulphur Dioxide:

Health effects:

Effect

Concentration (ppm)

Environmental effects:

The most severe damage is caused by the conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphuric acid in the atmosphere and its subsequent deposition as acid rain and dry acid particles.

Toluene:

Other Names: Methylbenzene; methylbenzol; phenylmethane; toluol.

Health effects:

Upon inhalation, the vapours aggravate the respiratory tract, depress the central nervous system, and damage the liver and kidneys. Exposure of pregnant women to toluene has been associated with damage to the unborn child.

Environmental Effects:

In the atmosphere toluene contributes to the problem of photochemical smog. Natural plant and animal populations are likely to be at risk from industrial and vehicle-related releases of toluene because natural levels are very low in comparison.

Zinc:

Other Names: Chinese white; flowers of zinc; philosopher’s wool; zinc white and zincite.

Health Effects:

Zinc is required for human health; over-consumption of zinc may impair heart function. It is the most common metal found in Human tissues after iron. Much zinc can result in a condition called zinc toxicosis. Over consumption of zinc leads to stomach distress, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Environmental Effects:

Zinc is more a hazard to aquatic organisms than to humans. In areas around smelters and mine runoff, plant growth is depressed and aquatic life and waterfowl are impaired. The effects of zinc are greater in soft water than in hard water.

6.9 People

Nakkavagu basin and surrounding areas are being inhabited for more than 2 million years. These indigenous peoples life is in jeopardy at this juncture of history, the development that claims the progress of life and mankind also acts against it. The sons of the soil are nowhere safe on this earth, more unlikely near the industrial areas. Pollution does not have limits; the cause and effect can reach any distances, by any media and means.

The traditional knowledge has little meaning in the modern industries. Industrialisation is meaningful if it brings real development in the lives of indigenous people. In the name of development of backward Districts as in the case of Medak District, industrialisation is alone not justified. The agricultural activity with options of irrigation sources falls under intensive agriculture zone, that is intensive dairy farming and horticultural activity. Around Hyderabad this is the only region best suitable for intensive agricultural activity, having the finest watershed management.

Patancheru is the sub-urban part of Hyderabad; this region is prosperous in comparison to other interior parts of the District which are really backward, the development of those parts would have been justified, if at all there is any interest to develop the backward Medak District.

The industrial activity is secondary which requires skilled persons and literates, or else it becomes an attractive place for the immigrants and in real terms of development little does the local people will be benefited directly in the form of jobs. With the proximity to Hyderabad in-fact the industrialisation benefited the immigrants and other residents in securing jobs then the indigenous rural population. The Medak District overall got benefited very little. The industries are thriving at the cost of environmental degradation. It is difficult to evaluate and estimate the total losses to property and life, due to pollution. The industrialisation in this part of Medak District benefited the local population very little, but it could have earned riches for the state and the nation in the form of foreign exchange and taxes. The bulk drug industries providing succour to millions of people elsewhere but same industries causing diseases and / or death of the local people. These industrialists have not taken any major social service work for the local people, though it is the social and moral responsibility of industrialists towards them. The industrialisation in this part of Medak District has given more sufferings to the indigenous people then prosperity.

6.10 SOCIO-ECONOMIC ISSUES

As far as human beings are considered, developmental activities in a region are weighed by positive and negative Socio-economic parameters. Any developmental activity is meaningless unless majority of local population is benefited out of it. Socio-economic impact is equally important as biophysical impact, but in majority of Environmental Impact Assessment’s less importance is given for Socio-Economic impact. It is often found that industrial pollution and its impact on biophysical environment are overlooked if socio-economic benefits are considerable.

The socio-economic impacts are determined by the type of projects and upon the host environmental characteristics of the region. Socio-economic impacts are of various types. Direct impact is the creation of employment opportunities for local and non-local people. The educational and industrial training institutes at local level provide opportunities for the local population in the skilled sector. The attraction of higher wages leads to some people shifting from less promising traditional occupations. Industrial development also leads to shortage of agricultural labour, as they shift to industries for work, which provides higher wages. The leakage from multiplier benefits would lessen if the percentage of local labour employment were high. The cause-effect diagram for the local socio-economic impacts due to industrial development is shown in Figure 6.4.

6.11 LANDSCAPE

The industrialisation and other developmental activities in Nakkavagu basin brought changes in the landscape by the construction of buildings, laying of roads, release of pollutants, etc. Landscape is an important national resource and an outstanding natural and cultural inheritance, which is widely appreciated for its aesthetic beauty and is important contribution to regional identity and sense of place. Although it is subject to evolution and change, the landscape is recognised as a resource of value to future generations. The following is an initial list of factors that contribute to landscape (Goodey, 1995).

· Physical: geology, landform, climate, and micro-climate, drainage, soil, ecology

· Human: archaeology, landscape history, land use, buildings and settlements

· Aesthetic:

· Visual, e.g. proportion, scale, enclosure, texture, colour, views

· Other senses e.g. sounds, smells, tastes, touch

· Associations:

· Historical, e.g. history of settlements, special events

· Cultural, e.g. well known personalities, literature, painting, music.

The indigenous people associated with the local landscape since childhood will find it difficult to appreciate the changed landscape. For the youngsters who are born after establishment of industries between 10 to 20 years of age, there is no comparative landscape of any kind in their minds, as they have not experienced anything better landscape since their birth. The elderly persons were nostalgic when asked to compare the landscape that they witnessed before and after industrial development.

Nakkavagu was the center of activity for the people of Bachuguda village; people were seen taking bath in the waters, catching fish, washing cloths, etc. It was also the place for domestic animals for drinking water and taking bath in those waters. Such scenes in the landscape of Nakkavagu are missing at present.

The pollution of environment will lead to mental disturbance too. The pitch dark polluted waters with floating oils and grease and the bad odour emanating from the water repels people from approaching them. The change in the composition of plant species brought total change in the landscape of the area. Birds are appearing less in numbers as they have migrated elsewhere, at very few non-polluted lakes large population of diverse birds are seen, example Lakdaram tank. Aesthetics of the region is spoiled completely by the industrial pollution.

6.12 CONCEPTS OF EIA AND SEA:

Environmental impact can be defined as any change in the environment that is caused by an activity or a factor. The change caused by an activity may be physical, chemical, biological, social or economic. (Ramaswamy et al. 1990). History of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is given in Table 6.1.

Table 6.1 History of developments in Environment and EIA.

1947 Representatives of 24 nations and many private societies met at Switzerland to propose the creation of an ‘International Union for Conservation of Nature’ (IUCN) which came into being in 1948 under UNESCO.

Mid-1960’s Warning from scientists – climate change – increasing carbondioxide.

Late 1960’s Environmental awakening.

1962 Rachel Carson – ‘Silent Spring’ – About the use of pesticides – a great impact on masses.

1969 National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), USA, launched EIA and EIS.

Pre 1970 Legislation’s enacted by many countries – air and water pollution, soil erosion.

1970’s A decade of response and action.

1971. World Bank – Environmental Unit – Environmental reconnaissance on hydro projects and guidelines on EIA.

1972 UN conference on Human Environment, Stockholm, Sweden.

1974 UN conference on the Population.

1976 UN conference on Human Settlements.

1987. Asia Development Bank (ADB) – Environmental unit – guidelines on EIA.

1990 Resource Management Act, New Zealand – Principle of sustainability.

1994 EIA is made mandatory for 29 categories of industries by Govt. of India.

The EIA is having a role in achieving the sustainable goals. Sustainable development is that development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to achieve their needs and aspirations’ (Brundtland Commission, World Commission on environment and Development (WCED), 1987). The concept of sustainable development can be made operational in the form of carrying capacities. EIA is a way of assessing the carrying capacity, which is a function of a number of variables, area of the region, resources under threat, nature of resources, value of the resources and limits of capacity.

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) aims to prevent environmental degradation by giving decision-makers better information about the consequences that development projects could have on the environment. The benefits of EIA are widely recognised, yet the approach has generally been applied primarily to individual projects such as industrial installations or power stations, rather than to the earlier policy decisions that often strongly influence decisions concerning projects. The emerging context of EIA is given in Figure 6.5. Integration of EIA into project cycle is given in Figure 6.6.

Increasingly, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is being used to assess the consequences of policies, plans and programmes (PPP’s) at the earlier stages of decision-making. Before going for regional development plans, such as industrialisation of a region etc., Strategic Environmental Assessment is important only after such an assessment, individual proposed projects assessment should be done. As a result SEA is likely to become the most direct method for implementing sustainability. The potential benefits of SEA are given in Table 6.2. The direct and indirect effects of policies and programmes are given in Figure 6.7.

Table 6.2 Potential benefits of strategic environmental assessment (Wood and Djeddour, 1992)

· Encourages the consideration of environmental objectives during policy, plan and programme-making activities with in non-Governmental organisations

· Facilitates consultations between authorities on, and enhances public involvement in, evaluation of environmental aspects of policy, plan and programme formulation.

· May render some project EIAs redundant if impacts have been assessed adequately.

· Allows formulation of standard or generic mitigation measures for later projects.

· Encourages consideration of alternatives often ignored or feasible in project EIA.

· Can help determine appropriate sites for projects subsequently subject to EIA.

· Allows more effective analysis of cumulative effects of both large and small projects.

· Encourages and facilitates the consideration of synergistic effects.

· Allows more effective consideration of ancillary or secondary effects and activities.

· Facilitates consideration of long range and delayed impacts.

· Allows analysis of the impacts of policies, which may not be implemented through projects.

Current SEA processes vary considerably. They may be formal / informal, comprehensive or more limited in scope and closely linked with or unrelated to either policy or planning instruments (Prasad, 1998). Regarding SEA, India has little experience and it is yet to be considered as a mandatory procedure for every regional development policies, plans and programmes.

Strategic environmental assessment and Project Environmental Impact assessment differ in five ways. (Wood, 1995).

1. The precision with which spatial implications can be defined is less.

2. The amount of details relating to nature of physical development is less.

3. The lead-time is greater.

4. The decision-making procedures and the organisations involved may differ, requiring a greater degree of co-ordination.

5. The degree of confidentiality may well be greater.

EIAs followed by SEA is important for achieving the sustainable development of a region. India is one of the first developing countries in the world to bring out various legislative measures for the protection of environment. As these two tools are the recent developments India should set an example by strictly implementing the EIA and SEA for various developmental projects for achieving sustainable development.

The legislative measures brought by Government of India for the protection of Environment are given below.

– Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

– Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

– Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977

– Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

– Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

– The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

– The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
er pollution are direct and indirect and have many dimensions. In this chapter, it has been tried to discuss all such relationships. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which are the tools in decision making for sustainable development are also discussed. Many scientists in the recent past have published good literature on environmental impacts (Gevirtz (1977), Doremus (1978), Petak (1980), Prahalad (1987), Smith (1993), Wood (1995), Wiesner (1995) and Larry (1996)).

6.2 ECOSPHERE

The ecosphere is part of geoecosphere or earth. Geoecosphere is defined as the interacting terrestrial life and life supporting systems viz. toposphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere and biosphere. The interaction of ecosphere with life and other spheres is shown in Figure 6.1. The sustainability of life on geoecosphere depends on the quality of all the above spheres. The rate of change of each geoecospheric component depends on all other spheres too (Richard, 1995). Human beings, being an inherent component of biosphere contribute to the overall sustainability or otherwise of the entire geoecosphere in our own unique way. Industrial outfits; the manifestation of human activity, are clustered to certain zones, very often in and around urban areas. The physical, chemical and biological nature of ecosphere itself is altered as a result of the activities like industrialisation, infrastructure development, etc. Industrialisation often involves generation of different byproducts, which at times are toxic in nature. The hydrosphere (water) and atmosphere (air) act as two important and fast couriers for the dispersal of different waste products generated in the above processes. The hazardous solid waste, which appears immobile, becomes a source for water pollution through leachets. Thus, preservation, protection and conservation of hydrosphere and atmosphere components attain vital significance.

6.3 HYDROSPHERE

As discussed above, the preservation of hydrosphere is vital and this is even substantiated in the study area too. The hydrosphere of Nakkavagu basin suffers mainly from deterioration of quality of water. The high degree of the presence of the pollutants in the water environment of Nakkavagu basin during the last two decades had deteriorated the environment of Nakkavagu basin.

6.4 ROLE OF hUMAN ACTIVITIES ON ENVIRONMENT

The increase in intensity of human activities with the progress of mankind is responsible for the environmental problems on earth. Man is the dominant species on earth in sheer numbers and capacity to change the natural environment can be considered a geological agent of action. The impact of man is largely seen on land and to a lesser extent on sea. On land or at sea the activity is limited to the surface environment only.

In biosphere there is no other species as dominant as man. World Population is increasing exponentially; therefore, earth is overburdened by the present about six billion population. The carrying capacity of earth is reaching a stage of non-sustenance. The progress of human beings at present is at the cost of snatching the living rights of about 30 million species, sharing the living space on this unique planet-earth. Human activity within last three centuries wiped out many species from this earth. Many species are getting extinct even before their discovery.

The development and progress of human beings can be attributed to the geological resources bestowed to human beings by earth. The progress and prosperity of human beings is accelerated mainly by the use of water and minerals (including soil). The irrigation facilities and fertile soil prospered agricultural activity, a very old sector in existence for the past more than 5000 years. Although development of settled agriculture is the precursor for human development, it accelerated only with the usage of implements and domestication of animals. Although the devastation of environment and ecology started since the time man started agriculture, but it accelerated only since industrial revolution.

Extensive discovery and usage of minerals led to industrial development, which accelerated only since 18th century, started in Europe. The raw material for industries involves mining – stripping the earth, these minerals excavated are then concentrated and complex chemicals are formed out of them. In the process of production, only minor part of the raw material turns into the finished product, rest of the chemicals is released as waste into the environment. The hazardous chemicals let into environment are the cause of concern.

6.5 WATER CONTAMINATION

Inorganic, organic and synthetic chemical wastes released by industries in Patancheru are the main causes of water pollution. Synthetic chemicals are the substances never produced in nature, many of these chemicals are so stable that they cannot be broken down by the existing Common Effluent Treatment (CET) process.

Ponds, tanks, lakes, streams and rivers are the natural chemical laboratories for all kinds of chemical reactions. The presence of sunlight, wind, convection currents in water, and the potential energy of the stream mixes and stirs water. Creation of harmful chemicals from harmless chemicals in natural lab is taking place on a wider scale. In routine test’s thousands of complex organic and inorganic chemicals, those resulting from reactions in the natures lab, are not analysed. The impact of all those chemicals on biota dependent on those waters are never known. In situations where degree of toxicity of chemicals is beyond the detection capability of human senses, gravity of the problem is occasionally revealed by the death of domestic animals, fish, etc., as it is happening in Nakkavagu basin. In the past two decades hundreds of cattle, sheep and other domestic animals died after consuming polluted waters, such incidents are reported in the press from time to time.

6.6 INDUSTRIES AND POLLUTION

Environment is being polluted by the release of many hazardous substances by the industries into water, air and soil (Figure 6.2). Many of the substances that are found in polluted environment, were not involved during the evolution of life, therefore they are toxic. Among the 108 elements in the periodic table, 80 are metals and only 17 of these are toxic viz. Be, Se, Os, Cd, Pb, Hg, As, Tl, Sb, V, Cr, Te, Ni, Co, Zn, U and Mn. Among the above following metals are analysed Se, As, Cd, Pb, Hg, Cr and Zn of which Hg, As, Se and Pb are found to be polluting the water environment of Nakkavagu basin (Ref: Chapter – V).

Man knows more than seven million chemicals and some 80,000 are in common use. The carbon-based chemicals account over 90 percent of world production of organic chemicals and a large proportion of fertilisers. About 800 to 1000 new chemical compounds are introduced each year (Struan, 1990). The presence of large number of pharmaceutical and chemical industries in and around Patancheru is responsible for releasing organic chemicals into the environment.

Water is an important medium for spreading toxic substances in the environment. Water also helps in chemical reactions among dissolved substances; therefore water is a kind of chemical reactor in nature’s lab, which can alter chemical composition and thereby the toxicity of many substances. Water molecules cause ionisation. Ions are reactive, and form different substances, which could be more or less, toxic, dissolvable, volatile and able to bioconcentrate. The less oxygen combined with the metal and the more acid in the water, the more dissolvable the metal. Dissolved metals are easily taken up by plants and ingested by animals.

The industrial pollution can be broadly classified into inorganic and organic pollution. Inorganics from industrial sources can be broadly divided into metals, salts, and acids and bases. The metals are usually found in low concentrations near localised sources of pollution, but this is balanced by their high human toxicity. Because they are adsorbed onto minerals their mobility is restricted. Trace metals are the metals present in the environment or in the human body in very low concentrations, such as copper, iron, and zinc. Heavy metals are those trace metals whose densities are at least five times greater than water, such as cadmium, lead and mercury. Toxic metals are all those metals whose concentrations in the environment are now considered to be harmful at least to some people in some places. Once mobile, metals find their way by many ways into the biotic systems through, water, food and air. Chronic poisoning by long term exposure to low levels of metals is of more concern then acute effects. Organo-metallic compounds are more poisonous than the simple inorganic compounds as they are highly soluble for example alkyl-mercuric compounds.

Industrial processing often involves derivation of salts as various by-products. Anions from salts are very mobile and move with the groundwater, cations are generally less mobile and undergo ion exchange or adsorption. Some salts contribute to pollution primarily by their high concentration levels; other salts like arsenic contribute to pollution because of their toxicity. Acids and bases in the groundwater are neutralised by aquifer rocks resulting in a salinity increase. Salt incrustations are commonly found along the banks of Nakkavagu and Pamulavagu and also in the fields using polluted waters for irrigation.

6.7 Industries and Micro-climate

The air pollution has far reaching impact on environment; the pollutants transported by air as suspended particulate matter or aerosols or in the form of various gases ultimately return back to earth elsewhere, through precipitation or dry deposition. There is every chance that such pollutants find their way into the water environment directly or indirectly. Smog formation and acid rains, which are the two mechanisms of air pollution, have the tendency to alter the microclimate of the region. Heat island effect is one of the direct / indirect symptoms of air pollution.

6.7.1 Smog

In the study area, the diurnal temperature variations are usually high. Occasionally on clear and calm winter night’s, temperature inversions are witnessed that leads to condensation just above the ground surface called fog. Particles of smoke and poisonous gases such as sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, etc., released from the industries couple with fog to form smog. The smog is a health hazard. The smog is more common in Patancheru industrial area especially in the low-lying areas during winters.

6.7.2 Acid rains

Acid rains are indirect sources of water pollution through air. The normal rain is slightly acidic (about pH 5), due to dissolved carbondioxide and other naturally occurring acids in the atmosphere. Rain with pH less than normal values in a region are called acid rain. The air pollutants like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide etc., are released into the environment in an industrial area. Under dry conditions in atmosphere the gases react chemically with sunlight results in photochemical smog, it is a foul smelling yellowish haze rich in ozone, running eyes and noses, coughing are the symptoms, sometimes can lead to death. The photochemical smog cannot be ignored. Under wet conditions in atmosphere, like the presence of clouds, precipitation leads to acid rains. Acidity of rainwater, flowing into streams and lakes is reduced by rocks containing calcium which neutralises the acid. The granite rocks in Nakkavagu basin, which contain little calcium, do not neutralise acid rain, so the acids enter rivers and destroy the ecosystem. pH less then 5.5 leads to reduction in fish numbers, and fish death occurs below pH 5. Acid rainwater releases aluminium from rocks, which is poisonous to fish and plants. Acid rain kills forests over large areas called ‘forest dieback’. The archaeological monuments like temples, mosques and graveyards plastered by mortar are etched or eaten away. The archaeological sites in and around Patancheru several hundred years old are under threat. Acid rains in and around industrial areas have the tendency to pollute surface water and groundwater resources.

6.7.3 Heat island

Industries contribute to the rise in atmospheric temperature called ‘Heat island’; this phenomenon is experimentally proved for many large cities. Industrial areas such as those concentrated in Nakkavagu basin too contribute largely for raise in temperatures and for changes in the local climatic conditions.

The heat in the industrial areas released by the machinery, exothermic chemical reactions, and vehicles, burning of fossil fuel, wood and from other heat energy sources. The continuous release of green house gases such as carbondioxide, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), etc., creates a bubble like shield of several square kilometers around an industrial area and the surrounding rural areas. There is usually high dust content in the air released by the various processes in an industrial area. The greenhouse gases and the dust allow the solar radiation but they prevent the out going long radiation, therefore heat is trapped. Consequently, the microclimate in and around an industrial area would be warmer then the surrounding open countryside. The dust particles and the gases like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, chlorine, fluorine, bromine, carbon monoxide, etc., are hygroscopic in nature encourage condensation, that leads to cloud cover, the clouds again act as heat blanket.

6.8 TOXICITY

The quantum of pollutant to which each individual is exposed is called the dose, and the amount of health damage is called the response. Dose is usually expressed in one of the three ways, a) The amount of substance actually in the body. b) The amount of the material entering the body (usually in food, drinking water, or the air). c) The concentration in the environment (Harte et al. 1991). Toxicity of pollutants is shown in hypothetical dose-response curve (Figure 6.3)

The assimilation of xenobiotic chemicals within organism at sub-lethal or lethal levels may induce a sequence of biological effects. These range from molecular interference with biochemical mechanisms and interactions with cellular organelles (e.g. DNA and RNA molecules), through to pathological changes at the cellular, tissue, and organ levels. Finally, these result in an integrated functional or behavioural response, experienced at the whole organism level, which may be reversible or irreversible (Des and Gregory, 1984).

Bio-magnification is an indirect route of pollutants reaching species at higher trophic levels, through an endless cyclic transfer of food material from life to life. Often the victims are identified lately and by the time of discovery a large community is under impact of pollution. This kind of pollution requires a thorough study of all the paths of food chains. Ultimately the estimation of impact of pollution on human beings is possible through epidemiological studies. It is the search for statistical associations between the occurrence of disease in a population and the factors suspected of causing the disease.

6.8.1 Toxics Found in Nakkavagu Basin

The following are the toxicants, which are being used by the industries in the production. Many of these toxicants would be consumed in part only for end product, rest of the chemicals are released as wastes, would pollute the water environment of Nakkavagu basin. The health and environmental impacts discussed are from Harte et al., 1991.

Acetone:

Other names: Dimethyl ketone; 2-propanone; pyroacetic ether; ketone propane.

Health Effects:

Inhalation of very high concentrations can depress the central nervous system, causing dizziness, weakness, and loss of consciousness. The presence of large amounts of acetone in the body can increase the liver toxicity of carbon tetrachloride. Ingestion of acetone causes central nervous system depression, high blood sugar levels, and high levels of acetone in the blood.

Ammonia:

Other names: Ammonia water; ammonium hydroxide.

Health effects:

The symptoms of ammonia exposure are a burning sensation (in the eyes, nose and throat), pain in the lungs, headache, nausea, tearing, coughing and an increased breathing rate. Concentrations are shown in table below.

Health effect

Concentration

Environmental effects:

Ammonia (NH3) adds nitrogen to the environment. In areas that cannot handle the added nitrogen, disruptions to the ecosystem will result. These include toxic effects on plants, fish, and animals and changes in the balance of species. Although ammonia is a base, it actually acidifies soil by its rapid conversion to nitrate (NO3), releasing hydrogen ions just like other acids.

Arsenic:

Physical and chemical properties: Arsenic and selenium are antagonistic toxins: exposure to one reduces the adverse effects of the other.

Health effects:

Lung cancer from inhaling arsenic and skin cancer from swallowing it are the two most dangerous effects of arsenic exposure for the general population. Inorganic is considered as the highest category of cancer-causing chemicals. Acute arsenic poisoning is characterised by severe gastrointestinal damage resulting in vomiting and diarrhea and general vascular collapse leading to shock, coma, and even death.

Environmental Effects:

Arsenic is toxic to plants in high concentrations. Eventually the trees may become totally unproductive.

Benzene:

Other Names: Benzol; carbon oil; coal tar naphtha; cyclohexatriene; phenyl hydride; pyrobenzole

Health effects: Acute exposure following ingestion or excessive inhalation depresses the central nervous system resulting in headache, dizziness, nausea, convulsions, coma, and possibly death. It is considered as carcinogen. Leukemia –induced death rate of 95 per 1000 workers based on an assumed lifetime occupational exposure.

Environmental effects: Benzene is a long term contaminant of groundwater because it cannot readily evaporate underground, and since little microbial activity occurs in underground water, it is not degraded.

Cadmium:

Health Effects:

Inhaled cadmium is associated with lung cancer in people. Chronic exposure to low levels of cadmium may also result in progressive lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Chronic exposure to cadmium is also associated with a wide range of other diseases, including heart disease, anemia, skeletal weakening, depressed immune system response, and kidney and live disease.

Environmental Effects:

Cadmium is strongly accumulated by organisms at all levels. Cadmium has the potential to concentrate in the food chain.

Copper:

Health Effects:

Copper deficiency leads to anemia, growth retardation, defective keratigization, hypothermia, mental deterioration etc. Excess copper leads to diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis tremor, kayser fleisher rings and renal dysfunction.

Chromium:

Health Effects:

Chromium metal appears to be biologically inert and no harmful effects have been reported. Chromium compounds are responsible for the majority of all adverse effects of chromium. Chromium can produce liver and kidney damage, internal haemorrhage, dermatitis, respiratory damage, and lung cancer. Longer-term exposures to the respiratory tract and skin can produce perforated and ulcerated nasal septa, inflammation of the nasal passages, frequent nose bleeds, and skin ulcers.

Dioxane:

Other Names: 1,4-Dioxane; p-dioxan; di(ethylene oxide); diethylene dioxide; diethylene ether; diethylene oxide.

Dioxane is a synthetic organic compound.

Health effects:

Chronic exposure to dioxane is also hazardous. Prolonged skin exposure can cause a rash or burn. Repeated exposure to levels that do not cause symptoms can lead to slowed central nervous system function and to liver and kidney damage. These symptoms may be delayed because the chemical has a tendency to accumulate in body tissue. When dioxane is present in chlorinated water, a highly toxic compound is formed. Its toxicity is 1000 times.

Environmental effects:

Dioxane could pose a toxic threat to the groundwater supplies if concentrations are high enough, because of slow microbial degradation and it cannot evaporate easily from groundwater.

Ethylene Dichloride (EDC):

Health effects:

Central nervous system and gastrointestinal problems such as dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, weak pulse, cyanosis, and unconsciousness. Kidney and liver damage. In mammals metabolism of EDC produces metabolites (including chloroacetaldehyde, chloroacetic acid, and chloroethanol) that appear to be several times more toxic than the parent compound. The metabolic products bind strongly to DNA than does EDC; such binding reactions are involved in the development of mutations, birth defects, and cancers.

Environmental effects:

Groundwater contaminant as evaporation rates from underground water is low.

Fluoride:

Health Effects:

The intake of small, recommended amounts of fluoride provides partial protection against tooth decay (dental caries). There is also evidence that small doses of fluoride can help stimulate bone growth in patients with osteoporosis. Over consumption leads to gastrointestinal illness, nausea, and vomiting. Long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride in drinking water can lead to a serious condition called severe skeletal fluorosis, or crippling fluorosis. In this disease, fluoride causes irregular bone deposits to form, which can lead to severe pain in joints and eventual crippling. Mottling of the teeth (dental fluorosis) is the most widespread effect of fluoride. As tooth enamel forms in childhood.

Formaldehyde:

Other Names: Formalin; Methyl aldehyde.

Highly water soluble, colourless gas with pungent odour and irritant properties.

Health effects: Formaldehyde is a possible carcinogen. Health effects at various concentrations are given in table below.

Effect

Concentration (in ppm)

Iron:

Health Effects:

Iron deficiency leads to anemia but exposure to excess iron leads to hepatitic failure, diabetes and testicular atrophy etc.

Lead:

Health Effects:

Lead affects the human nervous system, the production of blood cells, kidneys, reproductive system, and behaviour. The risks of lead poisoning are greatest in children and in pregnant women. Health effects at various blood lead levels are given in table below.
Health Effect

Blood Lead Concentration (ppb/100ml)

Manganese:

Health Effects:

Deficiency leads to bleeding disorder whereas excess leads to diseases such as encephalitis, psychosis, parkinson syndrome and pneumoconiosis.

Mercury:
Other Name: Quick silver

Health Effects:

In addition to pure mercury compounds of mercury can also be harmful. Methyl mercury accumulated in fish by biomagnification, is rapidly absorbed by people who eat such fish and can readily pass through the placenta of pregnant women, exposing developing fetuses, and through the blood-brain barrier into the brain. High exposure leads to damages to nervous system, Memory losses, tremors, emotional instability (anxiety and irritability), insomnia, and loss of appetite characterise milder exposures. Introversion appears to be the most prominent personality trait in affected people. At moderate exposures, more significant mental disorders and motor disturbances as well as kidney damage, are seen.

Environmental effects:

-Inorganic mercury discharges by industry are converted by bacteria water and in sediments to organic methylmercury. The organic form, methylmercury accumulates in aquatic food chain through the process of biomagnification.

-Acid rain and the increasing acidification of surface waters, more acidic conditions shift the organic mercury to forms that are more readily absorbed by fish (dimethyl to monomethylmercury), thus raising the levels in fish to which humans are ultimately exposed.

-Freshwater species are more vulnerable than marine species because selenium in seawater provides partial protection against mercury’s effects.

Methylene Chloride:

Other Names: Dichloromethene; methane dichloride; methylene dichloride

Health effects:

Methyl chloride is a common pollutant of air and groundwater. The major exposure is through inhalation. Methyl chloride readily absorbed once inside the lungs. Absorbed methylene chloride is distributed throughout the body and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. It can also be found in the breast milk of exposed women. Once inside the body, methylene chloride is rapidly converted to carbon monoxide, although it can also be stored in body fat. People exposed to high levels of methylene chloride show decreased manual performance and attention lapses. Heart arrhythmias and death have been ascribed to excessively high levels of the solvent in air. Methylene chloride may cause cancer.

Environmental Effects:

Methylene chloride stays in the groundwater for many years. It does not stick well to soil particles and thus allowing it to move great distances in an aquifer following its release into soil.

Nitrogen dioxide:
Health effects: Some health effects of Nitrogen Dioxide exposure

Effect

Concentration

Environmental Effects:

Nitric acid, the end product of nitrogen dioxide chemical reaction is the end product in air. Acid rain is a threat to plants and freshwater fauna.

Selenium:

Health Effects:

Selenium is the metallic element required in small amount for human health, but which in large quantities can be toxic. Chronic selenium poisoning results in loss of hair and fingernails, with disorders of skin, nervous system, and teeth also reported. Selenium has shown to reduce the toxicity of cadmium, inorganic and dimethyl mercury, thallium, and silver by altering the way these metals react in the body.

Environmental Effects:

Selenium intoxication of farm animals is a well-known condition that accumulates selenium from soils rich in the substance. Chronic ingestion over periods of weeks or months can produce two conditions; the blind staggers-affected animals have impaired vision and alkali disease-signs include liver cirrhosis, hoof malformations, loss of hair and emaciation.

Sulphur Dioxide:

Health effects:

Effect

Concentration (ppm)

Environmental effects:

The most severe damage is caused by the conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphuric acid in the atmosphere and its subsequent deposition as acid rain and dry acid particles.

Toluene:

Other Names: Methylbenzene; methylbenzol; phenylmethane; toluol.

Health effects:

Upon inhalation, the vapours aggravate the respiratory tract, depress the central nervous system, and damage the liver and kidneys. Exposure of pregnant women to toluene has been associated with damage to the unborn child.

Environmental Effects:

In the atmosphere toluene contributes to the problem of photochemical smog. Natural plant and animal populations are likely to be at risk from industrial and vehicle-related releases of toluene because natural levels are very low in comparison.

Zinc:

Other Names: Chinese white; flowers of zinc; philosopher’s wool; zinc white and zincite.

Health Effects:

Zinc is required for human health; over-consumption of zinc may impair heart function. It is the most common metal found in Human tissues after iron. Much zinc can result in a condition called zinc toxicosis. Over consumption of zinc leads to stomach distress, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Environmental Effects:

Zinc is more a hazard to aquatic organisms than to humans. In areas around smelters and mine runoff, plant growth is depressed and aquatic life and waterfowl are impaired. The effects of zinc are greater in soft water than in hard water.

6.9 People

Nakkavagu basin and surrounding areas are being inhabited for more than 2 million years. These indigenous peoples life is in jeopardy at this juncture of history, the development that claims the progress of life and mankind also acts against it. The sons of the soil are nowhere safe on this earth, more unlikely near the industrial areas. Pollution does not have limits; the cause and effect can reach any distances, by any media and means.

The traditional knowledge has little meaning in the modern industries. Industrialisation is meaningful if it brings real development in the lives of indigenous people. In the name of development of backward Districts as in the case of Medak District, industrialisation is alone not justified. The agricultural activity with options of irrigation sources falls under intensive agriculture zone, that is intensive dairy farming and horticultural activity. Around Hyderabad this is the only region best suitable for intensive agricultural activity, having the finest watershed management.

Patancheru is the sub-urban part of Hyderabad; this region is prosperous in comparison to other interior parts of the District which are really backward, the development of those parts would have been justified, if at all there is any interest to develop the backward Medak District.

The industrial activity is secondary which requires skilled persons and literates, or else it becomes an attractive place for the immigrants and in real terms of development little does the local people will be benefited directly in the form of jobs. With the proximity to Hyderabad in-fact the industrialisation benefited the immigrants and other residents in securing jobs then the indigenous rural population. The Medak District overall got benefited very little. The industries are thriving at the cost of environmental degradation. It is difficult to evaluate and estimate the total losses to property and life, due to pollution. The industrialisation in this part of Medak District benefited the local population very little, but it could have earned riches for the state and the nation in the form of foreign exchange and taxes. The bulk drug industries providing succour to millions of people elsewhere but same industries causing diseases and / or death of the local people. These industrialists have not taken any major social service work for the local people, though it is the social and moral responsibility of industrialists towards them. The industrialisation in this part of Medak District has given more sufferings to the indigenous people then prosperity.

6.10 SOCIO-ECONOMIC ISSUES

As far as human beings are considered, developmental activities in a region are weighed by positive and negative Socio-economic parameters. Any developmental activity is meaningless unless majority of local population is benefited out of it. Socio-economic impact is equally important as biophysical impact, but in majority of Environmental Impact Assessment’s less importance is given for Socio-Economic impact. It is often found that industrial pollution and its impact on biophysical environment are overlooked if socio-economic benefits are considerable.

The socio-economic impacts are determined by the type of projects and upon the host environmental characteristics of the region. Socio-economic impacts are of various types. Direct impact is the creation of employment opportunities for local and non-local people. The educational and industrial training institutes at local level provide opportunities for the local population in the skilled sector. The attraction of higher wages leads to some people shifting from less promising traditional occupations. Industrial development also leads to shortage of agricultural labour, as they shift to industries for work, which provides higher wages. The leakage from multiplier benefits would lessen if the percentage of local labour employment were high. The cause-effect diagram for the local socio-economic impacts due to industrial development is shown in Figure 6.4.

6.11 LANDSCAPE

The industrialisation and other developmental activities in Nakkavagu basin brought changes in the landscape by the construction of buildings, laying of roads, release of pollutants, etc. Landscape is an important national resource and an outstanding natural and cultural inheritance, which is widely appreciated for its aesthetic beauty and is important contribution to regional identity and sense of place. Although it is subject to evolution and change, the landscape is recognised as a resource of value to future generations. The following is an initial list of factors that contribute to landscape (Goodey, 1995).

· Physical: geology, landform, climate, and micro-climate, drainage, soil, ecology

· Human: archaeology, landscape history, land use, buildings and settlements

· Aesthetic:

· Visual, e.g. proportion, scale, enclosure, texture, colour, views

· Other senses e.g. sounds, smells, tastes, touch

· Associations:

· Historical, e.g. history of settlements, special events

· Cultural, e.g. well known personalities, literature, painting, music.

The indigenous people associated with the local landscape since childhood will find it difficult to appreciate the changed landscape. For the youngsters who are born after establishment of industries between 10 to 20 years of age, there is no comparative landscape of any kind in their minds, as they have not experienced anything better landscape since their birth. The elderly persons were nostalgic when asked to compare the landscape that they witnessed before and after industrial development.

Nakkavagu was the center of activity for the people of Bachuguda village; people were seen taking bath in the waters, catching fish, washing cloths, etc. It was also the place for domestic animals for drinking water and taking bath in those waters. Such scenes in the landscape of Nakkavagu are missing at present.

The pollution of environment will lead to mental disturbance too. The pitch dark polluted waters with floating oils and grease and the bad odour emanating from the water repels people from approaching them. The change in the composition of plant species brought total change in the landscape of the area. Birds are appearing less in numbers as they have migrated elsewhere, at very few non-polluted lakes large population of diverse birds are seen, example Lakdaram tank. Aesthetics of the region is spoiled completely by the industrial pollution.

6.12 CONCEPTS OF EIA AND SEA:

Environmental impact can be defined as any change in the environment that is caused by an activity or a factor. The change caused by an activity may be physical, chemical, biological, social or economic. (Ramaswamy et al. 1990). History of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is given in Table 6.1.

Table 6.1 History of developments in Environment and EIA.

1947 Representatives of 24 nations and many private societies met at Switzerland to propose the creation of an ‘International Union for Conservation of Nature’ (IUCN) which came into being in 1948 under UNESCO.

Mid-1960’s Warning from scientists – climate change – increasing carbondioxide.

Late 1960’s Environmental awakening.

1962 Rachel Carson – ‘Silent Spring’ – About the use of pesticides – a great impact on masses.

1969 National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), USA, launched EIA and EIS.

Pre 1970 Legislation’s enacted by many countries – air and water pollution, soil erosion.

1970’s A decade of response and action.

1971. World Bank – Environmental Unit – Environmental reconnaissance on hydro projects and guidelines on EIA.

1972 UN conference on Human Environment, Stockholm, Sweden.

1974 UN conference on the Population.

1976 UN conference on Human Settlements.

1987. Asia Development Bank (ADB) – Environmental unit – guidelines on EIA.

1990 Resource Management Act, New Zealand – Principle of sustainability.

1994 EIA is made mandatory for 29 categories of industries by Govt. of India.

The EIA is having a role in achieving the sustainable goals. Sustainable development is that development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to achieve their needs and aspirations’ (Brundtland Commission, World Commission on environment and Development (WCED), 1987). The concept of sustainable development can be made operational in the form of carrying capacities. EIA is a way of assessing the carrying capacity, which is a function of a number of variables, area of the region, resources under threat, nature of resources, value of the resources and limits of capacity.

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) aims to prevent environmental degradation by giving decision-makers better information about the consequences that development projects could have on the environment. The benefits of EIA are widely recognised, yet the approach has generally been applied primarily to individual projects such as industrial installations or power stations, rather than to the earlier policy decisions that often strongly influence decisions concerning projects. The emerging context of EIA is given in Figure 6.5. Integration of EIA into project cycle is given in Figure 6.6.

Increasingly, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is being used to assess the consequences of policies, plans and programmes (PPP’s) at the earlier stages of decision-making. Before going for regional development plans, such as industrialisation of a region etc., Strategic Environmental Assessment is important only after such an assessment, individual proposed projects assessment should be done. As a result SEA is likely to become the most direct method for implementing sustainability. The potential benefits of SEA are given in Table 6.2. The direct and indirect effects of policies and programmes are given in Figure 6.7.

Table 6.2 Potential benefits of strategic environmental assessment (Wood and Djeddour, 1992)

· Encourages the consideration of environmental objectives during policy, plan and programme-making activities with in non-Governmental organisations

· Facilitates consultations between authorities on, and enhances public involvement in, evaluation of environmental aspects of policy, plan and programme formulation.

· May render some project EIAs redundant if impacts have been assessed adequately.

· Allows formulation of standard or generic mitigation measures for later projects.

· Encourages consideration of alternatives often ignored or feasible in project EIA.

· Can help determine appropriate sites for projects subsequently subject to EIA.

· Allows more effective analysis of cumulative effects of both large and small projects.

· Encourages and facilitates the consideration of synergistic effects.

· Allows more effective consideration of ancillary or secondary effects and activities.

· Facilitates consideration of long range and delayed impacts.

· Allows analysis of the impacts of policies, which may not be implemented through projects.

Current SEA processes vary considerably. They may be formal / informal, comprehensive or more limited in scope and closely linked with or unrelated to either policy or planning instruments (Prasad, 1998). Regarding SEA, India has little experience and it is yet to be considered as a mandatory procedure for every regional development policies, plans and programmes.

Strategic environmental assessment and Project Environmental Impact assessment differ in five ways. (Wood, 1995).

1. The precision with which spatial implications can be defined is less.

2. The amount of details relating to nature of physical development is less.

3. The lead-time is greater.

4. The decision-making procedures and the organisations involved may differ, requiring a greater degree of co-ordination.

5. The degree of confidentiality may well be greater.

EIAs followed by SEA is important for achieving the sustainable development of a region. India is one of the first developing countries in the world to bring out various legislative measures for the protection of environment. As these two tools are the recent developments India should set an example by strictly implementing the EIA and SEA for various developmental projects for achieving sustainable development.

The legislative measures brought by Government of India for the protection of Environment are given below.

– Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

– Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

– Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977

– Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

– Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

– The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

– The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991

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