Mangaluru, Aug 29, 2017: DK District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has constrained Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to correct the underground drainage system at Gujjarakere and Arekere areas and ensure supply of potable drinking water.
In the order dated July 13, forum president Vishweshwara Bhat D has ordered the opposite parties – MCC commissioner, chief executive engineer and health officer – to heed the order within 60 days from the date of the order.
In case of failure, the opposite parties are liable to pay Rs 100 a day from the date of failure till complying with the same. Further, they should jointly and severally shall pay Rs 5,000 each to the complainants and also Rs 5,000 as litigation expenses within 30 days from the date of order (which remains unpaid).
Harish Arekere, one among the 22 complainants who had filed a complaint (under section 12 of Consumer Protection Act) before the forum, told media on Monday here, “The ongoing works on the drainage line is passing through private properties, which should be altered at least by three km. In the case of otherwise, it will continue to pose threat to the water bodies in the region, as 27 wells have already gone extinct due to the contamination of water due to the unscientific drainage system that existed earlier.”
Doubts expressed : Arakere, who works as an electrical executive with a private company, was sceptical over the civic body implementing the order in toto, as it is known to explore many other legal options. Although the civic body has launched works to redraw the line at an estimated cost of Rs 2.83 crore, quality remains a mirage, as is evident with the work.
C P Dinesh, another complainant said, “It is the fundamental right of the people to get purified water, as it is mandated under Water Pollution Control Act 1974, to keep the source of water clean.”
The issue dates back to over a decade, as the locals at Gujjarakere and the surrounding areas have been petitioning the City Corporation since 2006. Apart from the UGD line near Gujjarakere, the main pipeline connecting the wet well at Mulihithlu is overcapacitated by connecting the sewage line of multi-storeyed buildings, thus causing overflowing of sewage at places.
As and when the drainage water spilled over, the water drawn from Gujjarakere for religious rituals at nearby Sri Mahisha Mardini Mariyamma Temple was also found contaminated.