Special Correspondent

Biocon accused of releasing untreated effluents

‘Groundwater in the surrounding villages has become non-potable’

‘Official reports on the level of pollution ignored’

Bangalore: The Bangalore Urban Zilla Panchayat has asked the authorities concerned to stop supply of power to Biocon, a biotechnology major based in Bommasandra Industrial Area, and withdraw its industrial licence.

A resolution to this effect was passed at the general body meeting of zilla panchayat here on Monday after Rajanna, member from Hebbagodi, raised the issue of air and water pollution being caused by chemical effluents released. He said that groundwater in many villages in Anekal taluk, Hebbagodi and Attibele had become non-potable because of effluents.

Mr. Rajanna said that people in several villages did not have an alternative source and were forced to continue drinking polluted water.

Action had not been taken against the industry although a report by the Mines and Geology Department and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had found the units to be polluting, he said. Protests by local people had been ignored, he added.

The question had been raised in the last general body meeting and the members had demanded that measures be taken to provide safe drinking water to the villages affected.

The meeting on Monday resolved to seek extra allocation of money from the Government to provide clean drinking water.

Absent officials

The general body meeting of the zilla panchayat, which started an hour and half late for lack of quorum, saw members raising objection to the absence of many officials and area MLAs. H. Seenappa and G. Vijay Kumar said that action should be taken against officials who absent themselves since it affected the implementation of resolutions passed. Departmental officials abstain from gram sabha meetings as well, they added.

The zilla panchayat meeting that went on without a lunch break discussed issues ranging from shortage of drinking water and lack of medical facilities in villages to man-animal conflict and absence of adequate land for burial grounds.

The members complained that zilla panchayat meetings end up doing no more than sending proposals to departments and most of them fail to result in action.