Effluent discharge from the Uppinangady public toilet and bath complex septic tank, located behind the mortuary of community health centre (CHC), has been polluting Netravathi river, the main source of drinking water for lakhs of people.
It was a staff at the Uppinangady CHC who noticed the discharge from the septic tank.
“After the hurried inauguration of the public toilet and bath complex in 2016, the septic tank was maintained only for a couple of months,’’ informed a CHC staff on condition of anonymity.
Letter to PDO
When 200-odd patients visiting the centre complained about odour due to flooding in the septic tank, the CHC staff wrote to Uppinangady Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) in October 2017. The staff warned that the panchayat would be held responsible if there was an outbreak of diseases.
“A copy of the letter was sent to the taluk health officer, the district health officer, the state pollution control board and the deputy commissioner. There was no response,’’ the staff lamented.
Uppinangady Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Prashanth D’Costa even sent a video on the river pollution to the DC.
Another activist Abdul Rehman Unique also had raised the issue of the river being polluted by the sewage at a gram sabha meeting organised in Nekkilady village a month ago.
The Uppinangady Panchayat President K Abdul Rahiman and PDO Abdul Asaf did not respond to sms or calls made by DH.
Puttur Taluk Health Officer Dr Ashok Rai, when contacted, claimed that he was unaware of the discharge from the septic tank polluting Netravathi. He promised to personally inspect the spot within two days.
D'Costa said that the lack of response from the deputy commissioner was a big disappointment to him.
So how pure is your water? Take a ride to Uppinangady, located about 75 km from Mangaluru and discover the truth. Officials seem to be in no hurry to prevent the discharge and stop the pollution of Netravathi river.