Industrial effluents from Mysuru choke Cauvery
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Industrial effluents from Mysuru choke Cauvery

March 17, 2021

Bacteriological analysis classifies water as ‘Not Suitable for Potable Purpose’

Srirangapatna: River Cauvery, the lifeline of Kodagu, Mysuru and Mandya and the entire neighbouring Tamil Nadu, has been losing its pristine glory at Srirangapatna as thousands of gallons of polluted water is being discharged into the River on a daily basis and there is an absolute lack of a proper system to prevent the waste flow. 

There has been a steady and unabated flow of untreated industrial effluents from Mysuru and also sewage, turning the river toxic. During monsoon, the problem is not that severe as the River will be in full spate. But as summer approaches, the problem intensifies and worsens. 

There is a canal at Belagola near the Infosys campus (surroundings of Balamuri) on the Mysuru-Mandya border at Srirangapatna which carries industrial effluents into the River. This particular canal connects the Virija Canal that has many smaller canals that take the effluent-mixed river water to villages and hundreds of acres of agricultural fields.  

From the Virija Canal, the effluents enter several villages like Karekura, Hosahalli, Palahalli, Naguvanahalli, Chandagaalu and Srirangapatna at different stages. Several farmers have complained of skin diseases during summer along with itching sensation and deep-red rashes after using this water for either washing or drinking. Also, the fish here die in summer. 

Many households in these villages — ironically located just a few furlongs from KRS Dam — receive polluted water where there is an odd colour to the water and they cannot drink it without filtration. 

Mandya District Health officers collect samples of water from various locations near Belagola to be sent to bacteriological analysis.

Water samples collected

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Several livestock have also lost their lives and the death data has been submitted to the Taluk Veterinary Department. A team comprising Srirangapatna Taluk Health Officer Dr. N.K. Venkatesh, Block Health Education Officer S.D. Bennur, Taluk Health Manager G. Mohan and Senior Health Assistant Hemanna visited the canal near Belagola last Friday and collected samples to be sent to bacteriological analysis of the water in Mandya. 

Samples were also collected from Palahalli Major Tank, Mini Water Tank at Sri Shambhulingeshwara Temple and from Jal Bagh canal and also Belagola canal water. The report of bacteriological analysis released by District Surveillance Unit Officer in Mandya classifies the water as NSPP (Not Suitable for Potable Purpose). 

Alarming situation

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Dr. N.K. Venkatesh said that urgent measures have to be taken to prevent the flow of industrial effluents into the River otherwise there is a danger of people catching diseases like jaundice, defects in the intestines and even cholera. “We have found a couple of instances of people complaining of skin diseases after drinking this water. The situation is alarming,” he said. 

The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) — which represent the total concentration of dissolved substances in the water — reveal that there is a high concentration of TDS. This is an indicator that harmful pollutants like iron, manganese, sulphate, bromide and arsenic are present in the water, he said and added that there is an urgent need for routine checks to ascertain the suitability of water for potable purposes and to forestall outbreak of water-borne diseases.

Tahsildar, MLA to take up issue

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Reacting on the issue, Mandya Tahsildar M.V. Roopa said that she would immediately bring the plight of people to the notice of Mandya Deputy Commissioner so that the problem can be addressed in coordination with Mysuru Deputy Commissioner. “It is illegal to release untreated water and industrial effluents into rivers. Legal action will be taken against industries and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board would be asked to prevent pollution,” she said. 

MLA Ravindra Srikantaiah said that he had met and discussed the issue with former Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar and immediate action was taken then. “I ad told the officer that Srirangapatna is a holy place and the polluting canals carrying industrial effluents are spoiling the sanctity of the place. Immediate steps were taken by him then and the pollution had in fact stopped or lessened. Now again it is back to normal. I will take up this issue with the DCs of Mandya and Mysuru so that measures are initiated to stop pollution,” he said. 

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