KSPCB told to prosecute officials responsiblefor pollution in drinking water source

Observing that “the court cannot be a silent spectator when residents of Mangaluru are forced to drink polluted water”, the High Court of Karnataka on Friday directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to initiate prosecution of officials responsible for such a serious lapse.

While rejecting a report, signed by a chemist of a private company, on water analysis of Maravoor dam submitted by the Mangaluru City Corporation, the court directed the KSPCB to test water samples from various points, including at the entry and the exist points of the dam, and submit a monthly report to the court.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum issued the directions while hearing a PIL petition filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority on the failure of the corporation to implement the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 and also the failure to protect people from the ill-effects of Pachchanady landfill site.

The KSPCB report of August 21 had revealed that ammoniacal nitrogen and iron were found beyond the permitted limits in the water samples collected from some of the open wells and storm-water drains due to mixing of leachate overflowing from the Pachchanady landfill.

As the corporation had relied on a report singed by a chemist of a private company to state that drinking water drawn from Maravoor dam is not contaminated, the Bench wondered how could the corporation rely on a private chemist’s report as it was not from any authority recognised under the provision of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974.

“This shows the insensitivity of the corporation,” the Bench said, while directing it to take steps quickly to remove legacy waste lying at the Pachchanady landfill as the State government has now sanctioned ₹72 crore for the purpose.

Stating that “it is a very serious matter involving the lives of residents of Mangaluru as they are forced to drink poisonous water,” the Bench directed the corporation to submit reports every month on the progress made to remove legacy waste from Pachachanady landfill.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 7:13:23 AM |

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