B'luru sewage water for transportation; SC lifts stay

The Supreme Court on Friday lifted its stay on the Karnataka govt's ambitious scheme to pump secondary treated water from the sewage treatment plants of Bengaluru city to minor irrigation tanks situated in arid districts of Kolar and Chikkaballapur.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna noted submission by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Karnataka Pollution Control Board, that the water was not meant for drinking purposes but intended to recharge the groundwater.

The top court also recorded that the scheme -- known as K & C valley -- is in conformity with best practices adopted in the world.

Senior advocate Shayam Divan and Balaji Srinivasan, appearing for the BWSSB, contended that the sewage water under the scheme would percolate down to the ground which would take care of its impurities.

After vacating its stay order of January 7, the top court asked R Anjaneya Reddy, president of Shashwatha Neeravari Horata Samithi, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, to approach the high court. The court disposed of the special leave petition.

The top court had earlier suspended the operation of the interim order issued on September 28, 2018 by the high court, which refused to stay the scheme. A writ petition was filed in the high court.

The state government had claimed the petition was “motivated and malafide and filed at the behest of downstream users of water at Bellandur lake”.

The K & C valley and H & N Valley projects, being implemented by the Karnataka government, envisaged pumping of 210 mld of secondary treated water or reclaimed water from Nagavara, Hennur and Horamavu STPs to Amani Gopal Krishna Kere and onwards to fill 65 tanks in Bengaluru rural and urban and Chikkaballapura districts.

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