SC castigates K'taka govt for filing 'bland' plea

SC dismisses the application for lifting stay on K & C valley project

The Supreme Court on Monday castigated the Karnataka government for filing a "bland" plea for lifting the stay on the proposal to pump the secondary treated water from the sewage treatment plants of Bengaluru city to the minor irrigation tanks situated in Kolar district.

The Supreme Court on Monday castigated the Karnataka government for filing a "bland" plea for lifting the stay on the proposal to pump the secondary treated water from the sewage treatment plants of Bengaluru city to the minor irrigation tanks situated in Kolar district.

A bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi pulled up the Karnataka's Advocate General Uday Holla for filing the application which even did not mention the correct date.

"Are you playing around the court? There are no details in your application. It is a bland application. You don't even mention the correct date of the stay order," the bench said.

The court dismissed the Karnataka's application for modifying the stay order issued on January 7, 2019, saying it did not contain adequate materials in support of their plea.

The application by the state government mentioned the date of stay as January 7, 2018, the bench pointed out.

Senior advocates Shyam Divan and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for BWSSB and KPCB, sought to rely upon their affidavits in the special leave petition. 

But the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said the affidavits were filed in the main matter which was not for consideration before the court.

The court, however, allowed BWSSB and KPCB, to file a fresh application, saying it would be listed as soon as it was filed.

Last week, the Karnataka government urged the court to modify its stay order and allow the state to pump the secondary treated water from the sewage treatment plants of Bengaluru city to the minor irrigation tanks situated in Kolar district for the purpose of recharging the groundwater table through the K & C valley project.

Holla had mentioned the matter for urgent hearing.

The top court on January 7 stayed a Karnataka High Court's order, acting on a special leave petition filed by R Anjaneya Reddy, president of Shashwatha Neeravari Horata Samithi. It had suspended the operation of the interim order issued on September 28, 2018, by the high court.

The state government said the petition was “motivated and malafide and filed at the behest of downstream users of water at Bellandur lake”.

The K & C valley and H & N Valley projects, being implemented by the Karnataka government, envisaged pumping of 210 mld of secondary treated water or reclaimed water from Nagavara, Hennur and Horamavu STPs to Amani Gopal Krishna Kere and onwards to fill 65 tanks in Bengaluru rural and urban and Chikkaballapura districts.

In its response to the petition, the state government contended Kolar and Chikkaballapura are drought districts and are affected by erratic rainfall, resulting in groundwater deplete to alarming depths of 1000 to 1200 feet with harmful salts, fluoride and nutrite etc.

“The project in question will recharge groundwater. “The treated water when it flows through the tanks to the underground, there is a natural process of further cleansing and the same would facilitate the people to use the bore-well water for the purposes of agriculture as well as drinking,” it said.

There are no industrial effluents in the water, which is treated and that is borne out by the test reports filed before the high court, it added.

The state government said the allegation that pumping of treated water to Kolar will cause serious repercussions on the human health, aquatic life and environment was not true. “What is being pumped in not contaminated water but is treated water which can be beneficially used,” it said.

It further said the charge that the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board was not equipped with the technology to neutralise the industrial effluents was misleading. “All the industries are required to have effluents treatment plants (ETPs). Further, water from Bellandur tank is household wastewater, which does not have harmful chemicals,” it said.

 

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SC castigates K'taka govt for filing 'bland' plea

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