Residents claim officials of PCB are yet to visit villages near UPCL

The alleged pollution caused by the coal-based thermal power plant of Udupi Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL) dominated the general body meeting of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat meeting here on Wednesday.

Raising the issue, Geetanjali Suvarna, said the effluents discharged because of leakage from the pipelines of the UPCL had contaminated 25 wells at Admar. The officials of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) had not even bothered to visit the villages around the UPCL, where people were complaining of pollution. “Forget getting drinking water, people had to walk nearly 1.5 km to get water even for bathing,” she said.

Arun Shetty, member, said the KSPCB officials and the Deputy Commissioner should attend the meeting of the gram sabhas to understand the problems. All wells in Ulloor village had been polluted because of discharge of effluents from the UPCL, he said. Ravichandra, an official of the KSPCB, said the UPCL had replaced the leaking pipelines. But his contention was challenged by Ms. Suvarna.

Mr. Shetty said the UPCL had been planning to blast a rock at the ash pond. This might damage the nearby houses, he said.

It was decided that a team of officials from the KSPCB, the Department of Mines and Geology, and the zilla panchayat members of the area would visit the thermal plant, the ash pond, and surrounding areas on July 14. .

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