Bengaluru

Koramangala Challaghatta Valley project stay lifted

Residents of areas surrounding Lakshmisagara tank in Kolar district looking at the secondary treated water coming via the Koramangala Challaghatta Valley project.

Residents of areas surrounding Lakshmisagara tank in Kolar district looking at the secondary treated water coming via the Koramangala Challaghatta Valley project.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

SC allows State to send secondary treated water from Bengaluru to parched districts

The Supreme Court on Friday lifted its stay on a Karnataka High Court order allowing the controversial K&C Valley project to carry secondary treated water from Bengaluru to parched districts like Kolar and Chikkaballapur.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi recorded in its order the submission made by the Karnataka Pollution Control Board and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board that the water pumped into tanks in Kolar and other places was not meant for drinking but for recharging the groundwater level, which has dipped to 100 feet in areas facing drought-like conditions.

In January this year, the apex court had stayed the high court order on a petition filed by Karnataka-based activist R. Anjaneya Reddy, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and O. Kuttan, contending that expert research shows that the water meant to replenish the groundwater table is, in fact, contaminated and contains heavy metal.

The apex court issued notice to Karnataka, Department of Minor Irrigation, Central Groundwater Board, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Energy and Wetlands Research Group at the Indian Institute of Science, and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board.

The High Court had passed an interim order on September 28, 2018 modifying its earlier direction on July 24 last year. The September order set aside the July direction and allowed the State to pump secondary treated water from the sewage treatment plants (STPs) of Bengaluru to minor irrigation tanks in Kolar district for recharging the groundwater table.

The July order had restrained the respondents from restarting pumping of the secondary treated water.

Mr. Reddy highlighted a September 27 report by the Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, which has explicitly pointed out that the water quality from the pumping point outlet of Bellandur STP and the lakes of Kolar (Lakshmisagara and Narasapura), which received the secondary treated water, have been contaminated with higher heavy metals, high nutrients, higher biochemical and chemical oxygen demand.

However, the High Court had not taken cognisance of the report. It had, without considering the impact of the project on the drinking water sources of the region, modified the July order by accepting the water quality analysis report submitted unilaterally by the State authorities.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 8:07:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/koramangala-challaghatta-valley-project-stay-lifted/article26749325.ece

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