Mangaluru, Feb 01, 2018: The systematic continuing discharge of untreated sewage has polluted Thokooru rivulet, which joins the Phalguni river at Bykampady industrial area. The residents on the banks of the river seem to have no respite from the bad smell and more. An oil-like layer has formed and is seen on the water of the Phalguni River.
Thokooru GP president Presilla Monteiro said, “The villagers have been raising the issue of pollution at every gram sabha. However, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board officials either come late to the gram sabha or remain absent. We have already written to the KSPCB explaining problems faced by the residents. However, pollution continues unabated.”
When Thokooru rivulet was polluted last summer, the residents had carried out “Phalguni Ulisi” campaign. As a result, the district administration had constituted a committee with representatives from KSPCB and other industries to study the pollution. With the onset of monsoon, the problem disappeared and there was no information on the report submitted by the said committee. Now, the problem has recurred. The district administration should open its eye towards it,” said Muneer Katipalla, state president, DYFI.
Almost all of the domestic discharge of the city is joining the river through several canals, that were once freshwater streams, he said.
Expressing concern over this pollution, entrepreneur Ravi Paul Ferrao said, “Inland fishing has come to a halt. The residents can’t carry out fishing in the rivulet or in the Phalguni river due to the extent of pollution. There is fear that the consumption of polluted fish might affect health. Owing to the pollution, the residents of Kenjaru, Padukodi, Bangrakulooru, Melukoppalu, Kunjathbail and Marakada are facing a water crisis as well.”
According to Muneer, the medium industries have their own Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) in the Bykampady region. However, there are more than 200 small industries. If a centralised STP is constructed, then one can check the flow of sewage into the river.
Fisherman Nithin Ferrao said “We reside on the banks of the river. We have to depend on the MCC for the supply of water. If the rivulet water is not cleaned and pollution is not checked, we will have to face severe water crisis in the future.”
Panel to look into pollution of River : Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer said that the DK DC has constituted a committee with representatives from industries, MCC, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and Fisheries Department, to chalk out a proposal to check pollution in Phalguni River.
To a query from Corporator Dayanand, he said that a few households in two to three locations on the banks of river Phalguni in MCC jurisdiction are letting out sewage directly to the canal which joins the river. The deputy commissioner has given the Corporation a clear instruction on checking the entry of sewage to the canals.
The pollution has increased after the construction of Malavoor vented dam across river Phalguni, as the flow of water in December stops. Without the flow, even the pollutants remain stagnated in the river.