Vedike alleges 'illegal' pipeline along river bank

Vedike alleges 'illegal' pipeline along river bank

The MSEZ which was in news recently for dumping soil into the river, at Kuloor for laying Corridor road, is once again in news for laying the pipelines ‘illegally,’ on the banks of river, at Jakribettu in Bantwal taluk.

To supply water from river Nethravathi, the pipeline is laid for five kilometres from AMR dam to Jakribettu. The pipelines pass in the middle of the river at a few stretches. The MSEZ has not taken permission from water resources department for laying the pipeline.
The work is taken up without bringing the issue to the notice of the Pollution Control Board, reveals documents procured by Nethravathi Nadi Samrakshana Vedike. The details were sought under RTI.

The authorities have not sought permission for using the water from Nethravathi and Gurpura rivers, said Pollution Control Board official to the Vedike.

The government had allowed the MSEZ to draw water from river Nethravathi, on a condition that it has to obtain permission from Water resources department executive engineer. However, the MSEZ has violated the condition laid down by the government.

On laying of pipeline on the banks of river, water resources department Mangalore Assistant Executive Engineer has written a letter to Water Resources and Guaging Station executive engineer in Hassan and has said that the MSEZ has laid the pipeline from Sarapady pumphouse to Jakribettu covering five kilometres without obtaining permission. In the letter to the department of water resources, the MSEZ has said that “the right of way for laying the pipeline is obtained from the PWD, National highway, ZP and from private owners and accordingly, the work on laying pipeline is under progress from MSEZ WTP works to Jakribettu barrage. However, due to narrow road and build up area constrains, the stretch of the pipeline from Jakribettu to Sarapady head work is laid along the bank of the Nethravathi river and the pipelines are buried well below the ground.”

Nethravathi Nadi Samrakshana Vedike’s H Sundar Rao said “a small farmer takes
permission from the department concerned while taking up any work on the banks of a river. Even for installing pumpset, the farmer will have to obtain permission from Guaging Station in Hassan. It is surprising to note that a company like MSEZ has not followed the rules and regulation.”

He said “the MSEZ might lay a road on the banks of the river, in the pretext of maintaining pipeline in the future. The environmental impact study should be carried out while taking up any work on the banks of a river. NOC from the environment department is also a must. However, the MSEZ has violated the rules.”

The MSEZ has not taken permission from the forest department while felling the trees to facilitate the work on pipeline. The forest department had also not initiated any action, till the Vedike questioned it under RTI. Later, the forest department had directed the MSEZ to pay a fine of Rs 5,000,” he said.

The government has given permission to the MSEZ to draw 15 MGD water annually from Nethravathi and Gurpura rivers. About 7.5 MGD water will be drawn from AMR dam at Sarapady and 5 MGD from a dam which will be constructed, at Jakribettu. The remaining 2.5 MGD water will be drawn from Gurupura river.

The citizens of Mangalore are dependent on Nethravathi river for drinking water. Mangaloreans had already experienced acute shortage of water in the last summer. In such a scenario, if 12.5 MGD water is given to the MSEZ, what source of water will the MCC depend on, for supplying water to its citizens,” asks Sundar Rao.

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