Greens see red in Lakya dam water supply to DK district

Greens see red in Lakya dam water supply to DK district

It is conspiracy of KIOCL to keep activities alive in Kuduremukh

Greens see red in Lakya dam water supply to DK district

Even as the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) is making arrangements to file an affidavit before the green bench of the Supreme Court, seeking permission to use the water from Lakya dam through KIOCL pipeline, the environmental activists in the region have come up opposing the move.

KIOCL has been drawing water from Lakya Dam to its pellet plant and pig iron plant in Mangalore, through the existing 35-year-old iron ore slurry pipe laid from Kudremukh to Kulur in the city. The water is drawn based on an interim order issued by the Supreme Court on December 20, 2005 which granted the company the right to pump water from Lakya dam to the plant till the final order is made.

However, with the Mangalore City Corporation facing acute shortage of water during last summer due to the delay in rainfall, KIOCL came forward to offer water to the MCC from Lakya dam through the existing pipeline of the company.

Following a meeting of the elected representatives and officers in April 2012, it was decided that six million gallons per day (MGD) water from the reservoir could be supplied to the MCC, of which 2.5 MGD by way of gravitational flow and the rest by pumping from Lakya to Panambur water treatment plant. The KIOCL had agreed to maintain the pipeline on its own owing to the dam safety factor.

It was nine months ago that the MCC decided to go ahead with the plan, however, no development happened in this direction till recently. But, now with the MCC gearing up to file an affidavit before the Supreme Court, the environmentalists have turned red eye towards the KIOCL as well as the MCC.

Terming the plan as a ‘conspiracy’ of the KIOCL to keep the activities alive in Kuduremukh, environmentalist Ashok Vardhan said the water should not be drawn from Lakya dam to the MCC at any cost. “First of all, the move does not make any sense as there is no plenty of water available in Lakya dam to supply to the MCC.

The dam is filled with slurry and the water is not of potable quality. If the permission is given to draw water from Lakya, within a short period, they would begin other activities too like removing slurry from the dam, transportation, additional electricity connection etc, which will only affect Kuduremukh National Park,” he told Deccan Herald.

When the Supreme Court has ordered for the complete stoppage of activities of KIOCL in Kuduremukh, why is the company showing special interest to supply water to the MCC. When the new Thumbe dam is under construction and is expected to fulfill the water needs of the city, what is the need for the MCC to draw water from Lakya, asked another environmentalist Niren Jain.

Stating that KIOCL is in no way responsible to supply water to the city, Ashok Vardhan said it is the responsibility of the MCC to chalk out far-sighted plans to supply water to the people. “Why should the City Corporation become a party to the KIOCL’s need to retain their installations and operations in Kuduremukh?” he questioned.

He also said that the environment activists have already submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard and they would approach the court filing an objection, if the need arises.

On the other hand, MCC Commissioner Dr K Harish Kumar said that the MCC would file an affidavit before the Supreme Court this month. “Considering the acute water shortage problem we faced during last summer, we will explore all possible ways to get water to the city,” he said.