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KSPCB issues notice to sugar units

Last Updated : 31 July 2018, 18:22 IST
Last Updated : 31 July 2018, 18:22 IST

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The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has issued notices to Satish Sugars Limited headed by Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi and Vishwaraj Sugar Industries helmed by Ramesh Katti, brother of BJP's Umesh Katti.

While Satish Sugars Limited is at Hunashyala in Gokak taluk of Belagavi district, Vishwaraj Sugars is based in Bellada Bagewadi of Hukkeri taluk in the district.

The notices have been issued from the Chikkodi office of KSPCB, following a report by the Bagalkot district environment officer A M Maniyar. DH has, in its possession, copies of the notices.

The notices say that the effluents from the factories are polluting River Ghataprabha. The factories have been told to reply to the notices within seven days, failing which a recommendation will be sent to the government to close the factories.

The report by the environment officer follows complaints by local residents that the water was polluted at the bridge on the outskirts of Mudhol and near the Dhavaleshwara barrage in Mudhol taluk.

The water samples have been sent to KSPCB's regional lab in Belagavi for testing.

Spirit is manufactured using molasses, a byproduct from the sugar factories. It is said that the effluents (spent wash) are not treated properly before releasing them into the river.

Around 15 litres of spent wash is released for every litre of spirit produced and it is not processed scientifically, said Vishwanath Udagatti, environment activist from Mudhol.

Udagatti said the river is polluted not only in Belagavi district, but even after it enters Bagalkot district.

He says the factories release the effluents during heavy rain and whenever the flow from the dams to the river increases, so that the pollution is not easily identifiable.

Udagatti alleges that the issue of notices is just namesake and does not result in corrective action. The KSPCB officials reach the pollution spot when the water gets clear. To add insult to injury, they travel to these places in vehicles belonging to the factories and sometimes, the officials turn guests for the factory managements.

Farmers fear that the river water may be harmful to their fields and poisonous to drink for human and animals. The effluents also contaminate the groundwater.

Satish Jarkiholi and Ramesh Katti were not available for comments.

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Published 31 July 2018, 17:28 IST

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