Residents rue problems caused by three fishmeal factories

One of the factories on Mukka-Sasihithlu Road that have been given a March deadline to adhere to guidelines.  

If you happen to ride a motorcycle or bicycle or walk from Mukka to Sasihithlu, the international surfing event venue to the North of Mangaluru, you may get a shower bath even before landing at the beach.

But, you have to have a bath before doing anything else as it would be pungent water getting sprinkled from three fishmeal factories on Mukka-Sasihithlu Road. This is just one of the nuisances being caused by the factories listed out by the residents, including fishermen, from the locality.

According to Sqn. Ldr. (Retd.) P.R.P. Shetty, a resident of the area, the fishmeal factories have turned out to be a menace for the dwellers. Right from functioning round-the-clock emitting pungent smell to using decayed fish as raw material, from letting out untreated water directly into the sea to causing the spread of fishmeal powder in the surroundings, the factories have become a nightmare for the residents, he said.

The road leads to the famous Sasihithlu Beach where the international surfing event is held. The district administration too is developing the beach as a tourism attraction, Sqn. Ldr. Shetty pointed out. Though this nuisance has been brought to the notice of the district administration, nothing has been done, he regretted.

President of Sasihithlu Fishermen Cooperative Society Shobendra Sasihithlu told The Hindu the factories start letting out thick smoke with pungent smell after 9 p.m. every day thereby robbing residents of their sleep. Mukka and Sasihithlu are residential areas where these factories should not have been allowed to function.

Besides, the factories procure waste and decayed fish from far-off places that cause stench in the entire locality. Fishermen had no issues if they used fresh fish as raw material.

Waste water from fish transporting vehicles was let out onto roads thus endangering the safety of road users. The factories also let out untreated waste water directly on the seashore thus affecting catch, Mr. Sasihithlu said.

While fishermen had launched several protests earlier, divide and rule policy adopted by fishmeal factories has affected their unity. Fishermen have no issue with the factories if they function strictly in accordance with air and water pollution norms during day time, he added.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 10:42:47 AM |

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