The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday instructed the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner to initiate action against each and every person polluting Musi river. For this, identify individuals and institutions that are releasing discharges into Musi and contaminating it, the direction said.

Only such serious action would help rejuvenate Musi — once a drinking water source for people of Hyderabad, now reduced to filth. Observing this, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice V. Ramasubramanian directed the GHMC chief to present an Action Taken Report to the bench. The direction was given while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition.

After seeking opinions of the counsels for GHMC, Municipal Administration and Pollution Control Board on how to save Musi, the Judges wondered how it can be revitalised without preventing further contamination. “What are the main categories of entities like industries, domestic or hotels that pollute Musi? ….Is there any audit on Musi pollution as to precisely how it is happening?” the Chief Justice showered questions on them.

He asked if the GHMC’s Health Inspector had guts to inspect houses on the banks of Musi and take action against those releasing pollutants into the river. When Additional Advocate General J. Ramchander Rao explained that pollution was happening for past two to three decades, Judge V. Ramasubramanian asked if any scientific study was taken up to ascertain what type of discharges were being released into Musi. “Musi is in coma, we must bring it to Intensive Care Unit and revitalise it,” the bench remarked.

First, it must be protected from further annihilation by wrongdoers. Sewerage Treatment Plants and Common Effluent Treatment Plants are there. But industrial units are not the sole agents contaminating the river. Release of discharges from domestic side and commercial establishments like hotels and hospitals along with apartment buildings should be identified, the bench said.

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