Pollution on the rise in River Cauvery in Kodagu

Waste from coffee pulping units enters River Cauvery near Siddapura in Kodagu district.

River Cauvery has become a victim of rampant pollution in the place of its origin, Kodagu district.

Waste from coffee pulping units and homestays, fish waste and plastic directly enters the river. The pollution has increased in the past three months as wastewater from the coffee pulping units at Siddapura and Nelyahudikeri are directly let into the river.

The water in the River Cauvery is so polluted that it has turned black. People in the district are worried about the increase in the level of pollution in the river which is the source of water for crores of people across Karnataka.

There are floods in the river during the monsoon. However, the condition of the river worsens during three months in the summer. 

The villagers, who use the water for consumption, have experienced health complications. The panchayat development officers of the gram panchayats have only served notices to the coffee estate owners. No measures have been taken to save the river from getting polluted, alleged environmentalists. 

The environmentalists said, “The underground drainage works have been suspended in Kushalnagar. As a result, sewage water directly enters the river. The local authorities and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board officials are silent on it.” 

The river flows pure and clean for eight kilometres from its origin at Talacauvery. Later, the river gets polluted during the course of its flow. The colour of the river water turns black by the time it reaches Kushalnagar. Water from the river cannot be consumed directly, said Pollution Control Board officials.

The rules ban commercial activities within 500 metres of the radius of the river. Unfortunately, a majority of the homestays and resorts are situated on the banks of the river. The waste from the homestays and resorts directly enter the river polluting it.

In addition, the waste from the villages also enters the river. People in the villages, situated on the banks of the river, do their daily chores like washing clothes and others on the banks of the river.

Further, fish merchants in Siddapura region dump fish waste into the river.

The pollution of River Cauvery is affecting the quality of water. During monsoon, the quality of water in the river is B grade. However, it reaches C grade during summer.

According to officials of the Pollution Control Board, A grade water can be consumed directly. But C grade water should be consumed only after it is purified or treated.

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