Villagers and activists oppose letting sewage upstream into the dam, which is a source of drinking water
The Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has decided to let out treated sewage from its Pachchanady secondary sewage treatment plant downstream to the Maravoor vented dam across Phalguni river instead of letting it into the stream that joins the river upstream.
Mayor Premananda Shetty, who visited the plant at Pachchanady and the tertiary treatment plant at Pilikula on July 8, told The Hindu that of the 9 million litres per day (MLD) treated at Pachchanady, 6.5 MLD was taken by Dr. K. Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama for watering plants and other activities. The balance was let out to the Pachchanady stream that joins Phalguni upstream before the Maravoor vented dam.
While The Hindu has been reporting on this issue for over four years, social activists took up the matter with the district legal services authority, the Chief Minister’s office and other fora, forcing the city corporation to act. Raw sewage from the wet well at Manjalpade, off Pachchanady, was also flowing into the Pachchanady stream whenever pumping to secondary treatment was stopped due to power failure.
The dam caters to the drinking water requirements of many surrounding villages under the multi-village drinking water scheme, and residents took strong exception to letting sewage into the dam.
MCC Commissioner Akshy Sridhar visited the plants on July 3 and ordered issue of notice to plant operator, M/s Envirotech Company Ltd., to show cause why criminal action should not be initiated under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
Mr. Shetty said a technical team from National Institute of Technology, Karnataka at Surathkal had submitted a report to MCC about laying a pipeline from the secondary plant to let treated sewage downstream after the dam. Based on the report, the Corporation submitted a proposal to the Karnataka government to execute the pipeline project at a cost of ₹2.5 crore.
Admitting everything was not right in sewage treatment, Mr. Shetty said, with the new operator, the processes were being undertaken properly.
Mr. Sridhar said the Corporation would install CCTV cameras at the secondary, tertiary treatment plants and the wet well to keep tabs on discharge of treated or untreated water into the local river network. If raw sewage continues to be discharged from the wet well to the Pachchanady stream, the Corporation would initiate criminal action against the operator, he told The Hindu.
MCC to build tertiary treatment plants on river banks
Taking serious note of domestic sewage being let into Netravathi and Phalguni (Gurupura) rivers through canals that once carried clean water, the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) is contemplating installing tertiary treatment plants on the rivers’ banks.
Mayor Premanand Shetty told The Hindu that it was disturbing to see certain portions of domestic sewage generated Mangaluru directly flow into the two rivers. Such major canals, include the ones near Dambel and Kudroli leading into Phalguni river, and near Hoige Bazar and Netravathi bridge leading into Netravathi River.
To start with, the Corporation plans to construct at least two tertiary treatment plants to treat raw water, before it is let out into the rivers, on trial basis, Mr. Shetty said adding sites for the plants would soon be identified.
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