Power unit’s water discharge into beach threatening marine life, allege fisherfolk

The company says the water contains no chemicals

February 28, 2021 03:19 am | Updated 03:19 am IST - Mangaluru

Residents and fishermen in and around Yermal near Padubidri in Udupi district have said the Udupi Power Corporation Ltd., (UPCL) of Adani Group has been letting out hot water used in the plant directly into the beach, thereby affecting marine life.

Fisherfolk, who did not want to be identified, told The Hindu though UPCL had laid a 1 km long outfall defuser pipeline into the sea, it appeared to have developed problems. The company removed the pipeline about 1.5 months ago and since then, waste water was being discharged into the sea on the beach itself, they alleged.

Representatives of the group, meanwhile, said that discharged water contained no chemicals and was brought to ambient temperature before being let out.

Traditional fishermen

However, a fisherman said letting out used hot water into the sea, be it 1 km from the beach or on the beach itself, would adversely affect marine life because of change in water temperatures. The worst affected were the traditional fishermen who do not venture into deep seas. Their catch has been decreasing every year, he said. Another fisherman said there was no constant discharge of the waste water, but once in a while large volumes were discharged. The discharge takes place when people are not around, he said.

He said a breakwater built to support the pipeline was removed by the district administration about five years ago as it had begun causing massive sea erosion. After dismantling of the breakwater, the erosion drastically reduced.

The fisherfolk said neither the district administration nor the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board responded to the issue.

Response from Adani

Adani Group’s South India president and Executive Director Kishore Alva said UPCL was drawing seawater only for boiling purposes and the discharged water did not contain any chemical properties. The pipeline was being replaced, he said, adding that he would check whether the water was being directly let out on the beach. The plant discharges water after bringing it to ambient temperature, he added.

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