Garbage, untreated sewage spoil MM Hills

Dumping garbage discharge of sewage have been polluting natural streams around MM Hills in Kollegal taluk of Chamarajanagar district. DH Photo

During a visit to hill shrine of Male Mahadeshwara in Chamarajanagar district, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy on Friday announced several projects to help devotees visiting the temple. But the increasing number of devotees in recent times has left the famous Shiva pilgrimage centre in the middle of a burgeoning garbage crisis.

In the absence of a scientific waste and sewage processing unit here, the piling up of garbage and release of untreated sewage into the natural streams has posed an ecological threat to the region which is also a wildlife sanctuary with a salubrious population of tigers and elephants.

Thousands of devotees from various parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu visit the hill shrine all through the year.

“The devotees take a holy dip at the Antaragange, a natural stream, atop the hillock. But the water in the steam is polluted with untreated sewage let into the stream from guesthouses, cottages and other commercial establishments around the temple. While the contaminated water has left many with various ailments, the same water flows further to join other major streams in M M Hills affecting the wildlife that is dependent on the streams,” an activist working around M M Hills rued.

A conservationist working in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary told DH, “In 2016, the then government while launching the Malai Mahadeshwara Swamy Area Development Authority had announced to set up a waste and sewage treatment plant (STP) atop the hillock. But the project is yet to take off in reality. Though Chamarajanagar MP Dhruvanarayana had directed the authority officials during the meeting of the authority in July 2018, the project has made no progress.”

According to the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2016, sources of water within the wildlife sanctuary should not be contaminated and no garbage shall be dumped within the sanctuary.

MP R Dhruvanarayana told DH that they have been requesting the government to expedite work on STP and other projects.

“The shrine is the second highest revenue generating temple in Karnataka and tops the list of temples with the highest number of devotees. Despite forming the authority two years ago, only 12% of the works have been completed so far. Today we brought this to the notice of the chief minister and he agreed to resolve this by appointing a permanent official to look after the authority works within a week,” he said.

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Garbage, untreated sewage spoil MM Hills

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