Mangaluru, Mar 24, 2018: Significant observations were made by the members of National Environment Care Federation, students of Swaroopa Adhyayana Kendra and a group of mediapersons during a two-hour long ‘Jalapayana’ (boat ride) on March 23, Friday. The water looks brownish all through the stretch of the Phalguni (Gurupura) between Sultan Battery to Maravoor Bridge. There are portions of the river bank that have turned black, reportedly due to accumulation of oil and other waste. All along, there are people extracting sand.
The Federation organised the ride to highlight the condition of Nethravati and Phalguni rivers - the lifeline of Mangaluru – to mark the World Water Day.
The Jalanapayana started around 11.30 a.m. The NECF members hired two fishing boats of Bolur Mogaveera Sangha for the purpose. The Swaroopa Adhyayana Kendra students brought sticks modelled as dead fish to show the impact of water pollution on fish. These students and the NECF members, including environment activists Dinesh Holla and Shashidhar Shetty, wore “Green Army” t-shirts for the event.
“We cannot see sky bluish colour water, which signifies purity, in the river,” said activist Holla, an avid trekker, while expressing his concern over the brownish tinge to the water. “The black colour of the sand along the river bank is because of discharge of oil and untreated water into the river,” he said.
Shetty accused officials of failure in regularly testing the water and prevent pollution.
Scenes of fish and ducks was the positive side of the boat ride. “These are the scenes that connect children with nature and inspire them to work for its protection,” Mr. Holla said.
Shetty said the Green Army members will not only involve in the environment-protection programmes but also push officials to protect the water bodies.