Mangaluru, Mar 27, 2017: Is this another ploy to favour and help private land developers? MCC, Mangaluru City Corporation has turned a ’blind eye’ to the construction of a road and a culvert encroaching upon a live rivulet on the outskirts of the city.
The Pachanadi rivulet that flows in the corporation ward represented by Mayor Kavitha Sanil appears to be under threat of an “engineered slow death” to join the list of many sewer drains of Mangaluru.
A mud road, about 25 ft wide has come up on the sewer line that goes from Pachchanadi sewage treatment plant (STP), right from the rivulet’s bridge on the Pachchanadi-Bondel Road, a distance of about 1.5 km. A culvert also has been built on the stream to facilitate road connectivity for land development activities atop Pachchanadi hillock.
When asked whether the corporation had built the road and the culvert, Mayor Kavitha Sanil replied in the negative. She is reported to have said that private developers have formed the road with debris cleared from the hillock and also constructed the culvert. There was no permission she said.
A farmer residing adjacent to the rivulet, who can not be named here on request, said that life has become difficult after the mud road was formed. Several trucks move everyday raising clouds of dust affecting plantations. The road has shrunk the rivulet’s width from about 50 ft to just about 15 ft and residents are worried over floods during the monsoon, he said.
What will the corporation would do if the sewer lines, buried beneath the new road, get damaged? It is alleged that the corporation has facilitated road construction to favour land developers to get clearances from authorities concerned. The rivulet, which once were filled with fresh water, now is filled with sewage. The development atop Pachanadi hillock is bound to reduce fresh water flow into the rivulet and induce more sewage.
Another resident of the village said that two realtors are developing the area on the Pachchanadi hillock. In fact, the location is connected by a government road starting from Pachanadi STP (Moodushedde-Bondel Road) even as developers have found a short-cut along the rivulet.
Mayor’s take :
A statement by Mayor Kavitha Sanil says that there was nothing wrong in allowing private developers to build the road adjacent to the culvert on the Pachanadi rivulet. Mayor Sanil represents Pachanadi ward in the Mangaluru City Corporation Council.
The sewer lines going to Pachanadi STP used to break down often creating nuisance in the region. The road had to be formed anyway and now the developers have done it, thus getting enough width for the road, to get clearance for projects from MUDA, she said. Otherwise, the corporation had to form the road, Kavitha added.
It also benefits several houses located in the region, which, otherwise, did not have proper road connectivity, she noted. A spot visit revealed that the old residential area has connectivity from the Moodushedde-Bondel road, while a few new houses have come up adjacent to the newly formed road abutting the rivulet.
As regards a farmer’s allegation that the rivulet’s width has shrunk, the Mayor said that, in fact, the width has increased, from about 30 m to 50 m. [However, the rivulet has just become another sewage drain in reality.] She said that there should not be any apprehension about floods. To an allegation that the corporation was helping developers, Mayor Sanil said that land development would result in overall development of the region, which is normally welcome.