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Health officer told to inspect ‘pollution’ in the Nandini, and Kateel area

President of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Asha Thimmappa Gowda on Monday instructed the District Health and Family Welfare Officer (DHO) H.S. Shivakumar to study if the authorities of Durgaparameshwari temple at Kateel and others were polluting the Nandini river by various means and submit a report within a week.

She said that the panchayat would recommend to the government legal action against the concerned based on the report.

Eshwar Kateel, a member from Kateel constituency, who had, in earlier meetings, drawn the attention of the council to the pollution in the river, alleged that sewage water from the temple buildings, hotels and shops continued to flow into the river.

He said that Mennabettu, Yekkar and Soorinje gram panchayats supplied drinking water to people from the downstream of the river.

Mr. Kateel said that though a team led by the president of the panchayat visited the temple on July 2 and instructed the authorities there to dispose of food waste, including plantain leaves used to serve food to devotees, by constructing a solid waste treatment plant (or a biogas unit), such a facility has not been got up. Instead, food waste was being dumped in a site. The member alleged that sewage water from toilet pits were overflowing into the river.

Replying to this, Ms. Asha Thimmappa Gowda said that henceforth there would be no more inspections from any team. The DHO should submit a comprehensive report on the hygienic conditions in the town.

Meanwhile, an action taken report tabled in the meeting on the issue said that the panchayat had served a show-cause notice to the administrator of the temple on July 18. The explanation given by the administrator was not satisfactory.

Hence, it had been directed to use the sewage sucking machine available in Mangalore Taluk Panchayat to empty the public toilet pits of the temple and treat sewage at the liquid treatment plant of Mennabettu gram panchayat by paying a fee.

Mr. Kateel, however, alleged that none of the directions have been adhered to.

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