Water contamination: HC directs action against Palike

Water contamination: Karnataka HC directs action against Mangaluru Palike

The government advocate submitted to the court that legacy waste is around 30-40 years old

The High Court on Friday directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to initiate action against the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) for its insensitive approach on the issue of contamination of drinking water in the city.

A report by the KSPCB had revealed contamination of a tributary of Phalguni river in Mangaluru. The contamination was caused due to the overflowing of leachate from the legacy waste site at Pacchanadi in the city.

"This court cannot be a silent spectator when residents of Mangaluru are forced to drink polluted water because of the legacy waste," the bench headed by Acting Chief Justice S C Chandra observed.

The government advocate submitted to the court that legacy waste is around 30-40 years old and it will be cleared in a phased manner. The government also submitted a test report submitted by Mugrody Constructions, a private firm, with regard to the quality of water at the Malavoor water treatment plant.

The bench, however, rejected the report by the private agency. "This court really fails to understand under which provision of law Mugrody Constructions has been assigned the job of analysing the water in the township of Mangaluru. The report is submitted since rejected in total," the bench said.

The bench reprimanded the MCC and directed the KSPCB to initiate action against the civic body by launching prosecution against the erring officials. The bench directed both the KSPCB as well as MCC to submit monthly reports on water quality and status of shifting the legacy waste. The hearing has been adjourned to October 27. The KSPCB has been directed to test the water supplied to the residents at the entry and exit of the dam.

The PIL is filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) on various issues after the August 2019 disaster when a heap of solid waste Pachchnadi slid engulfing at least four houses, a couple of temples and 18 acres of farmland.

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