Partially treated water poses threat to Pilikula zoo

Partially treated waste water from Mangaluru City Corporation’s (MCC) tertiary treatment plant (TTP) in Moodushedde has been overflowing into the animal enclosures of the zoo and the Pilikula lake at the Shivarama Karanth Pilikula Nisargadhama here, threatening the flora and fauna.

To make the treated effluent fit for non-drinking purposes, the waste water is further processed at the tertiary treatment plant, installed with funds under ADB-supported Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project and stored in a 1.5-MLD-capacity water tank in the Nisargadhama. The treated waste water is utilised for plantations in the biological park.

Pilikula Nisargadhama Biological Park director M Jayaprakash Bhandary confirmed that for the past few weeks waste water from the treatment plant was overflowing into the enclosure of animals.

The partially treated waste water was adversely affecting the growth of plants. “The recycled water is not given to animals. But as this partially treated effluent is flowing into animal enclosures, there is a need to take caution,” he said.

The waste water has also contaminated Pilikula lake. Pilikula Nisargadhama executive director Prasanna said the waste water had affected around one lakh fingerlings in the Pilikula lake. The chemical content in waste water is not completely removed during treatment.

“The Nisargadhama had written to the MCC and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on the partially treated waste water contaminating waterholes in the zoo and the lake,” he said.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner and Nisargadhama governing council chairman Sasikanth Senthil S said waste water overflowing from Moodushedde treatment plant was a recurring issue. The waste water is also not properly treated, he conceded and recollected that, in the past, the leakage was rectified. “I will meet authorities in this regard and ensure that appropriate measures are taken,” the DC assured.

When contacted MCC assistant executive engineer Vishalnath refused to comment and advised this correspondent to contact MCC commissioner B A Nazir. The latter did not respond to calls and messages. KSPCB environment officer Rajashekhar Puranik said an inspection would be conducted there.

A MCC official said the technology used at the tertiary treatment plant was outdated. A Rs-10 crore project is in the pipeline to set up a tertiary treatment plant of 1 MGD capacity, based on better technology, in Pacchanadi. The treated water would then be supplied to Pilikula Nisargadhama, he added.

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