Distillery plant explosion leaves a trail of stench

Distillery plant explosion leaves a trail of stench

Residents of Koppa and the surrounding villages are complaining of breathing problems, fever, skin problems and cough after the distillery plant of NSL sugar factory exploded and potassium-laced water spilled over to farmlands and polluted River Shimsha recently.

There are also complaints of unbearable stench. The government doctors are making door-to-door visit to assess the problem and treat patients.

“A temporary hospital was opened at Chikkenahalli village and the number of patients is  on the rise. As the water spilled over to the farmlands, paddy, ragi, and sugarcane crops on nearby lands got destroyed. Though there is good flow of water in the canal and river, the pollution level has not reduced. The officials have failed to clean the farm lands and road,” alleged the farmers.

Speaking to DH, Assistant Commissioner M R Rajesh said, it may require a few more days for the effluents to get washed away totally. We have also asked the people not to use the water from Shimsha river. A temporary hospital is functioning under the guidance of the District Health Officer. We are prepared to handle any type of problem.

The water samples have been sent to the Karnatakta State Pollution Control  Board (KSPCB) and the report is expected in a couple of days, he said.

“Though lakhs of litres of chemical effluent destroyed crops, affecting drinking water and aquatic animals, the Koppa police have not arrested anyone in connection with the case. The state-level officers of the KSPCB have not visited the spot for inspection. The DC has not considered this issue seriously,” claimed local farmers.

The case has been registered at Koppa Police Station. We will take an appropriate action once the report is submitted, said Superintendent of Police Shivaprakash Devaraj.

Tahsildar Shwetha said, five teams of officials have surveyed the crop loss due to the mishap. We will submit a report on Thursday, once DC returns.