Preserve fresh water sources like Cauvery: HC Judge

The bench consisting of High Court judge Shailendra Kumar and member of High Court Legal Services Committee Yellappa Reddy stressed on the need for restoration and rejuvenation of catchment areas of major rivers and regulations to prevent people from encroaching upon water bodies, at the regional Lok Adalat held here on Saturday.

Pointing out that the current water crisis was a sign of water resources getting exhausted, he said the catchment areas of Cauvery and its tributaries should be taken care of.

Prevention

“Preventing river water pollution should be a top priority subject, as Cauvery provides sustenance to the people of the state,” Justice Shailendra Kumar said.

The bench advised officials to start awareness campaigns in villages lying on the banks of the river Cauvery, in order to educate people against releasing effluents into the river.

They raised concerns on the depletion of fresh water fish in Cauvery river due to dynamite fishing and spoke on the necessity to declare the lengths of the river Cauvery as an ecologically sensitive zone.

River Bhadra

Noting that river Bhadra has already borne the brunt of pollution, the bench noted that land degradation around Kudremukh might eventually stop the river from flowing all together.

Stating that Chikmagalur district was a key region, when it came to water resources in the state, the bench said that a Catchment Area Treatment Plan to rejuvenate regions where rivers originated will help in increasing the flow of rivers.

Deputy commissioner of Hassan Mohan Raj said 23,000 hectares of catchment area has been rejuvenated by afforestation schemes in the district.

Rejuvenating

Deputy commissioner of Mandya Krishnaiah said the district administration, with the help of locals, was rejuvenating the Paschimavahini river.

Out of the 315 ponds in the district, 20 ponds have been cleared of debris, he said.

The bench noted that quarrying and mining activities in Mandya district had degraded the perennial water springs.

The bench said the failure to safeguard water resources will worsen the water crisis in days to come.

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