Water is an essential resource for sustenance of life on earth. It is needed for many human activities, including agriculture, domestic and industrial use, transport and recreation. The pollution of water resources from industrial sources is the point of concern. Earth is an eternal source of life giving water and therefore there is need for protection of the water from pollution and judicious use of the precious water resource.

The use of aquatic ecosystems as sink for the effluvia of civilisation is by no means new. Even in Greek mythology, one of the tasks of Hercules was to cleanse the Augean stables within a single day. These stables contained a great wealth of cattle and had never been cleansed. Hercules harnessed the River Alpheus and ran it through the stables and washed them out quickly. Aristotle noticed white filamentous threadlike organisms in polluted water 2,400 years ago. We know these today as the sewage fungus complex. Imperial Rome in Augustine times had a population over one million people. The high population densities required some means of dealing with their domestic wastes; therefore they developed very high degree of household water carriage system (Clapham Jr., 1981). The classic example from Indian sub-continent is the sewerage system developed about five thousand years ago, during the Harappan and Mohenjodaro civilisations. These systems are prerequisite for the health and hygiene.

A concern for nature and natural resources and its management is not at all a new concept for Indians. Admiration of nature and the urge to concern and protect it has been part of our civilisation. India’s wealth of literature, scriptures and folklore are replete with examples which show that our ancestors were environmentally conscious and advocated concepts of sustained usage of resources through many social customs, myths, taboos, traditions and religion. The rock edicts of emperor Ashoka (273-232 BC) are probably the first ever governmental directive towards environmental protection in recorded history. But in spite of such an impressive beginning, the conservation movement in India is less then two decades old (Singh and Subramanian, 1990).

Until the Industrial Revolution population densities were low enough that the traditional methods of composting, earth closets, and so on, were adequate to solve most of the waste disposal problems. But so much waste was being generated in industrial countries such as England by the eighteenth century that the old methods simply could not keep up with the production. Garbage and excrement accumulated in the streets, and industries that had grown up along rivers to tap readily available power sources were dumping their by-products into the same rivers. Early in the nineteenth century sewers were introduced into industrialised countries and quickly became the norm (Hynes, 1960; Tarr and McMichael, 1977). The dumping of pollutants into the environment has increased because of the intense industrial development to cater the demands of ever growing population.

Earths surface is the interface between the atmospheric agencies and the internal processes affecting the surface from within, along with the physical properties of the geological material forming the earths surface and landscape and controlling the movement of surface and sub-surface water. A careful study and analysis of such factors is therefore, imperative for rational decisions to delimit anthropogene interference’s to minimise imbalances or degradation of the natural balances of the ecosystem which had taken millions of years to stabilise. Since most of these aspects are related to the terrain and its characteristics, earth sciences have a vital role in any such complex evaluation. In the field of Environmental Geology, Geological Survey of India (GSI) commenced work in 1972, much before environment came on national agenda, with a view to generating baseline data consideration of all aspects of geo-environmental study, to facilitate evaluation of the environmental changes consequent to specific future developmental activities (Shankar, 1998).

The stress imposed upon the environment by civilisation becomes primarily reflected in the water environment. The total water used per person is increasing with the development of man. All uses of water result in increase of dissolved components, all used water has to be disposed of somewhere, and all disposed water reaches the existing water reservoirs, lakes, rivers, groundwater and the ocean. Hence, and intrinsic part of water use is water contamination, i.e. addition of components that were not there before (Mazor, 1991). Data on the behaviour of heavy metals and other inorganic and organic pollutants in water environment and their ultimate distribution is important.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a structured and useful planning tool to identify and evaluate the potential impacts (beneficial / adverse) of developmental projects on the environmental system. It is useful aid for decision making based on understanding of the environmental implications including social, cultural and aesthetic concerns which could be integrated with analysis of the project costs and benefits (Singh et al. 1994). Government of India through a notification on Environment Impact Assessment gazetted in January 1994, has made a statutory requirement of Environment Impact Assessment of certain identified activities whether it is in public or private sector.

Impact assessment originated with a desire for strong change in both philosophy and the methodology of resource management. It is assumed that a systematic, focussed, interdisciplinary use of science may improve the quality of planning and decision-making (Caldwell, 1988). Environmental Impact Assessment methodology is selected for the research work in order to assess the multi-dimensional impacts of industrial pollutants especially from the effluents released into Nakkavagu basin.

Water interacts with all other components of ecosystem i.e., geology, soils, weather and climate, flora and fauna. The pollution of water causes impact not only on the above but also on socio-economic and cultural environment. Industries cause pollution of natural resources, through the indiscriminate release of effluents. In one such case, effluents released by industries into the environment in Nakkavagu basin devastated the environment of the basin. Industrialisation had an adverse impact on the lives of people in Nakkavagu basin. Nakkavagu (Photo 1.1) is a tributary of Manjira River, which drains the water of highly industrialised zone of Patancheru area. The Manjira River finally joins with the river Godavari.


Patancheru town is one of the main industrial area located 30 kms to the north-west of Hyderabad, Capital City of Andhra Pradesh, on National Highway No. 9 (NH-9). It lies around 78 0 15’ East longitude and 17 0 32’ North latitude and it is part of Medak District in Andhra Pradesh. Patancheru industrial area in this context implies Patancheru, Bollaram, Pashamylaram, Khazipalli, Gaddapotharam, Bonthapalli and Chitkul industrial clusters, which are located in and around Patancheru town and in Nakkavagu basin. Nakkavagu basin lies between the longitudes 78 0 05‘ and 78 0 25‘ East and the latitudes 17 0 25‘ and 17 0 45‘ North. The basin area extends over 734 sq. kms (Figure 1.1 and 1.2). Nakkavagu basin is covered in Patancheru, Ramachandrapuram, Jinnaram and Sangareddy Mandals of Medak District and to a lesser extent in Rangareddy District (Figure 1.3), and found in ‘Survey of India’, toposheet numbers – 56K/2, 56K/3, 56K/6 and 56K/7. Patancheru is easily accessible as it is located on one of the busy National Highway’s (NH-9) and many bus services are available from Hyderabad and Secunderabad.


Andhra Pradesh with 173 most polluting industries stood fourth in India after, Maharashtra (335), Uttar Pradesh (224) and Gujarat (177) (Confederation of Indian industries (CII), 1996). In India maximum amount of pollution comes from pharmaceutical and sugar industries. Andhra Pradesh is the leading state in India in the production of pharmaceuticals and majority of them are located in Medak District.

Medak District is one of the most industrialised districts in the country, and has the largest number of industries in the State (Figure 1.4 and 1.5). The type of industries includes bulk drugs, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics, ceramics, boilers, industrial alloys, industrial chemicals, electronic goods and computers. There are about 3905 small-scale industries and about 192 medium to large-scale industries in the District (Chandra, 1997). Within the District, Patancheru Mandal is having maximum number of industries.

In Medak District, under the scheme of encouraging industries in backward districts, Central Government gave 20% concession to units on electricity bills and allowed changing their sales tax dues into loans. These were made interest free for 10 years. This facility continued till December 1989. State Government also introduced subsidies for promoting industries in the District. The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) had set up industrial estates at Bonthapally, Bollaram and Patancheru.

Patancheru industrial area which includes Patancheru, Bollaram, Pashamylaram, Khazipalli, Gaddapotharam, Bonthapalli and Chitkul industrial clusters, the changes in physico-chemical and biological properties of water brought about by the release of effluents by those industries resulted in pollution of the water environment. There are about 118 industries in Patancheru IDA and 110 industries in Bollaram IDA, which are working presently, in addition to other satellite industries in Nakkavagu basin. There are two Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) located in Nakkavagu basin at Patancheru and Bollaram. The pollution in Nakkavagu basin is the sum result of direct or indirect contribution of all the industries located in Nakkavagu basin.

Among the industrial areas, one of the most important industrial areas in Medak District is Patancheru Industrial Development Area (IDA). Starting from Ramachandrapuram village boundary, opposite to International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru industrial area spreads over vast stretch of land in and around Patancheru. Measuring about 56.176 acres, this industrial area is divided into 576 plots and was developed in five phases. Many of the polluting industries are in the Phases I, II, and IV. Phases III and V house only non-polluting small-scale engineering industries. Now there are about 300 industries in Patancheru and its surrounding Mandals (Ramachandrapuram (R.C.Puram), Jinnaram and Sangareddy). Patancheru industrial area development and related issues are given in Table 1.1.

Table 1.1 Landmark events of industrial development and related issues in Patancheru

1962 – Industrialisation started in Patancheru.

1974 – Creation of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC).

1975 – Patancheru industrial estate established.

1976 – Acceleration of the growth of the industries.

1980 – Indira Gandhi wins MP seat from Medak constituency and became Prime Minister, encouraged the industrial development in this constituency (Patancheru, Ramachandrapuram, Narsapur, Gummadidala and Sadashivapet.)

1983-84 – The impact of pollution upon the local residents noticed, as reported largely in press.

1986 – An incident led to agitation against industrial pollution – A 75 year old man’s legs got burnt when he accidentally stepped into the chemicals dumped along the roadside. The subsequent incidents are: On 10th June and 16th July – people protested through hunger strikes, on 16th of August- A Public rally was organised – for seeking immediate redress of the grievance, on 21st August-road blocking or ‘Rasta Roko’ was organised at Patancheru on NH-9 to high light the gravity of the problem of pollution – State cabinet passed a resolution to alleviate the problem of farmers.

1987 – 12th September- another road blocking or ‘Rasta Roko’ agitation took place in which 10,000 ryots participated to protest against pollution by industries in Patancheru.

1991 – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) submits a report to Supreme Court and recommended about 32.2 crores as compensation to the suffering ryots.

1993 – ‘Scientific evaluation of pollution around Patancheru and Bollaram industrial areas’, a report published by DDS (an NGO), Hyderabad.

1994 – Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), started functioning.

1996 – State government declares a ban on new industries in the region.
1998 – ‘Effluent Management in Nakkavagu drainage Basin’, CPCB, report on pollution.


Environmental problems in the area forced the Government, Non-Governmental Institutions, and individuals to carryout studies on various aspects of pollution for the past more than two decades. Many articles were published in various newspapers and non-scientific magazines till now. As per the directions of the judiciary, a number of reports were produced and submitted from time to time, based on cases filed for relief from environmental pollution by farmers and environmental action groups. Some of the most important studies are discussed below.

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, prepared a report titled – ‘Report on Environmental Pollution caused by Patancheru and Bollaram industrial estates in nearby villages of Medak District, Andhra Pradesh’, (1991), based on studies and observations of five scientists. This report concentrated mainly on human health and mortality, and their economic losses due to crop failures and death of domestic animals (cattle, sheep etc.,) due to industrial pollution (NEERI report, 1991).

‘Scientific evaluation of pollution around Patancheru and Bollaram industrial areas’, Medak District, Andhra Pradesh (Biksham, Shiva Kumar and Mohan Reddy, Deccan Development Society (DDS) report, 1993). This report covered all the major and trace elemental concentrations in the water environment of parts of Nakkavagu basin. Data evaluation is done using statistical techniques; the mobility of elements in the hydrogeological system is presented in contour diagrams. It also covered the social aspects.

Honorable Mr. Justice J. Jeevan Reddy, while disposing writ petitions, appointed a Committee of Experts comprising, Prof. O.S. Reddy, Retired Professor, Osmania University, Shri P. Ramayya Naidu, Retired Chief Engineer (PH) and former Member Secretary, APPCB, and Prof. N. Sreeramulu of JNTU. They have visited fifteen industries in Patancheru to verify whether the modified directions given by the Government of Andhra Pradesh are complied with or not in respect of each of them (O.S.Reddy Committee report, 1990).

Shri D. Appa Rao, District Judge, Medak at Sangareddy, Andhra Pradesh, submitted a report to the Supreme Court of India pursuant to the direction in I.A.2 in WP (Civil) no. 1056 of 1990 (Appa Rao report, 1996).

Sri P. Lakshma Reddy, District Judge, Medak District, at Sangareddy, submitted a report to the Supreme Court of India (Lakshma Reddy report, 1996).

A group of scientists from CPCB prepared a comprehensive report on effluent management in Nakkavagu drainage basin in four phases and submitted it to the Supreme Court of India (CPCB report, 1998).

It is reported that Arsenic is mainly released by some of the industries through their untreated industrial effluents at Common Effluent Treatment Plant. The discharge from CETP shows very high values of Arsenic, which is directly released in Peddavagu (Isukavagu), joining the Nakkavagu, and finally meets Manjira River (Govil et al. 1998).


Patancheru industrial area in this context is defined as all those industries located in Nakkavagu basin covering mainly Patancheru and other Mandals (R.C.Puram, Jinnaram, and Sangareddy), that are letting their effluents directly or indirectly into the Nakkavagu basin. Present work is mainly to assesses the impact of polluted waters from industries on Nakkavagu basin area, based on Environmental Impact Assessment studies of the polluted waters of Patancheru industrial area (Figure 1.6).

This work is predominantly based on the principles of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and to some extent confirms the broad principles of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The present environmental situation is the result of the activity of existing industries and also of those that were closed. Studies of some of the industries were considered which use hazardous raw material in the production, as it is not possible to evaluate the impact of pollution caused by each individual industry.

All the existing parameters to assess environmental impact, physical, biological, socio-economic and cultural and water environments were considered for the Nakkavagu basin area, which gives an insight into the present carrying capacity of Nakkavagu basin (i.e. the sustainable development of the region). The present work is an integrated approach to assess the impact of water pollution and to some extent other kinds of pollution on Nakkavagu basin. This kind of assessment might help in taking a decision for further industrialisation or closure of some of the most polluting industries, in order to curtail further deterioration of the Nakkavagu basin environment.


This work has been carried out between August 1995 and August 1998, covering various parts of Nakkavagu basin. The study includes literature survey, reconnaissance survey, secondary data collection, informal discussions (Photo 1.2), and fieldwork, involving geology, soils, tanks and bio-diversity, and collection of water samples for analysis, and interpretation.

Physical, chemical, and biological nature of the environment was assessed through primary and secondary sources of information. It includes water sample collection during Pre-Monsoon or Summer (S-Data), Monsoon or Rainy (R-Data) and Post-Monsoon or Winter (W-Data) periods for studying various aspects of chemical pollution in surface and groundwater samples

The sample locations were selected in three phases according to their importance. These selected locations are useful in the characterisation of the surface water and groundwater pollution of Nakkavagu basin. Among the sample locations selected in three phases except few locations, all other locations are discrete.

Reconnaissance survey was followed by extensive and intensive fieldwork. During the fieldwork, water samples were collected from Nakkavagu and its tributaries, and also from dug wells and borewells. pH of the samples were analysed by using calomel electrode with a standard digital pH meter. Other general water quality parameters such as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Hardness (TH) are analysed as per the standards of American Public Health Association (APHA), American Water Works Association (AWWA) and American Pollution Control Federation (APCF), (1975). The amount of TDS present in the samples was determined by evaporating the sample to dryness at 1000C. The estimation of COD of the wastewaters was carried out by employing dichromate method of standard methods. BOD of the wastewaters is estimated by adopting modified Whinkler’s method for analysing the initial and final levels of dissolved oxygen in the test sample. The samples were seeded with an acclimatized sewage seed developed in the laboratory by freshly collecting raw sewage and aerating the same with the addition of small quantities of raw waste for a period of one week to 10 days. The amount of TH present in the samples was determined by the standard titration method using EDTA.

The parameters such as Sulphates (SO4-), Chlorides (Cl-) and Fluoride (Fl-) were estimated with ions selective electrodes, using Orion ion analyser. Trace metals are estimated by ICP-MS (Jopiom Yvon 24 (JY24) model) using 18mega-ohm conductance water as an internal standard. The fieldwork includes study of streams and tanks, and their ecology, geology, soils, and topography of the basin, including cropping pattern and bio-diversity of the region.

The primary and secondary water sample analysis data is subjected to multivariate data analysis was processed using the software ‘SYSTAT for Windows, 1995’. Basic statistical data such as minimum value, maximum value, range, median, mean and standard deviation etc., were also generated using the same software. The good literature published on environmental data analysis was useful in interpretation and presentation of the data (Bajpai (1992), Davison (1992), Hewitt (1992), Hopke (1992), Thompson (1992), Young (1992), Liabastre (1992), Reeve (1994), Bryman (1995) and Lakshminarsaiah (1996)).

A Pearson correlation of zero indicates that neither of two variables can be predicted from the other by using a linear equation. A Pearson correlation of +1 indicates that one variable can be predicted perfectly by a positive linear function of sample analysis data, between the sample cases gives relationship between the sample locations with similar degree of pollution and the dendrogram between the elements gives degree of association of elements in their occurrence. Factor analysis provides principal component analysis (maximum likelihood and iterand principal axis). Factor analysis data includes Eigen values, Component loadings, Variance explained by components and percentage of total Variance. The analysis data between factors is presented in Factor Loadings Plot and between Number of Factors and Eigen-value is presented as Scree Plot. Factor analysis helps in identifying the groups of elements from common sources.

To characterise the pollution of Nakkavagu basin, primary and secondary data is used. Sample analysis data pertaining to summer, rainy and winter seasons are utilised. In the month of May, seventeen samples were collected from Nakkavagu stream, Pamulavagu Isukavagu, dug well, bore wells, and effluents of Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP). A total of nineteen samples representing rainy season (R-Data) were collected in August, 1997, from Nakkavagu, Manjira River, Nizamsagar, Godavari River and other three tanks. Analysis of water samples from tanks, Nakkavagu and Isukavagu streams and Manjira River, and flow studies of Nakkavagu and quality of water in tanks was done during January 1998 representing winter season (W-Data).

For a comprehensive evaluation of pollution in Nakkavagu basin, other primary data was also considered. Data of Panchayatraj Internal Water Quality Monitoring Laboratory, Uppal, Hyderabad, of forty-one groundwater samples (G1-Data) collected in 1991, and of about twenty-six groundwater samples (G2-Data) collected by Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) in the year 1991. Although the data is seven years old, the analysis data of groundwater samples was considered because of their extensive coverage of the Nakkavagu basin area that helps in identifying the movement of pollutants in the ground. All the data is subjected to environmental data analysis. Secondary information from the recent works and papers published on Nakkavagu basin area is also considered.

The following types of methods have been used to perform the tasks of impact identification and summarisation:

Descriptive methods have been used based upon the facts and information collected during discussions with local people and from secondary sources.

To explain the complex nature of the pollutants and the relations between various factors simple and three-dimensional figures are used. The data is processed, simplified and presented in appropriate graphs.

Network diagrams are also used which link secondary and tertiary impacts to primary impacts; networks are directional diagrams designed to trace in two dimensions the higher-order linkages between project actions and environmental factors.

Finally checklist developed by the Environmental Evaluation System (EES) at the Batelle Columbus Laboratories, USA (Dee et al. 1973) is used with some modifications, for final evaluation of impacts with and without industries. In this assessment 36 parameters are selected (Figure 1.7). Parameter Importance Weights (PIW) represent the value of importance of each environmental parameter. The weights have been given to the 36 environmental parameters based on the degree of impact caused by the establishment of industries and associated developmental activities over the last 40 years (industrialisation started in Nakkavagu basin about 40 years back). Similarly the weights were given assessing the degree of alteration of environmental parameters that would have happened over the last 40 years, even without industries in Nakkavagu basin.

The total weight of the parameters is assumed as 1000 points. They are broadly classified into four categories namely, Ecology, Environmental Pollution, Aesthetics and Human interest. The weights are initially distributed to the four basic parameters, according to their importance. Most important – environmental pollution is given a value of 1 and next Human interest and Ecology are considered as half-important in comparison to environmental pollution so they take the value 0.5 each. Aesthetics are considered as only one-fourth important, that in comparison to environmental pollution, therefore aesthetics takes the value of 0.25. Total weight being 1000 points; accordingly they take values as such 444.44, 222.22, 222.22 and 111.11. The values are rounded to 450, 250, 200 and 100. Human interest is considered more important then ecology, so human interest is rounded to a higher value (250) and so the ecology to a lower value (200). These weights are distributed to the parameters under each sub-class as per personal judgement and upon similar lines as above, depending upon their importance.


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