Hundreds of fish were found dead and floating in the Phalguni (Gurupura) downstream the Malavoor vented dam, following the flow of industrial and domestic effluent into the river even as the administration has remained mute to the annual happening.
Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) State president Muneer Katipalla said the river water has turned black with industrial effluents starkly exposing the indifferent attitude of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), the district administration, and the Mangaluru City Corporation.
The Thokur Halla (stream) flowing through Baikampady Industrial Area that once had been nurturing agricultural activities in the surrounding villages throughout the year has become a cesspool with the continuous flow of industrial effluents.
Mr. Katipalla said despite repeated plea to KSPCB, it has failed to rein in industrial units from letting out effluents into the natural water system.
The problem has aggravated in recent years with many cooking oil refineries opening their units in the Industrial Area, he said. While the stream’s origin has gone inside the MRPL campus, encroachment has made the stream look just like a stormwater drainage, while the clear water has turned out completely black.
Till about two years ago, the district administration and the KSPCB used to issue notices whenever activists raised voice against industrial effluents flowing into the River and the pollution used to come under control. However, they have not acted this time while effluents were flowing into the river since over a month. Because of this, there was fish kill, he said.
Pollution of Thokur Halla has also affected vegetable cultivation and clam farming in and around Thokur village. Mr. Katipalla also chided the residents of the district for their indifference towards the unabated pollution of the Phalguni. As people have remained silent, the administration does not care about the flagrant violation of pollution norms, he alleged.
The administration had blamed the remains of the coffer dam built during the construction of the Malavoor vented dam during a similar situation in 2017 summer.
Though the coffer dam was removed, fish kill continues to recur as a result of reduced oxygen levels in the river water due to the flow of industrial and domestic effluents.