BENGALURU: Observing that it is the constitutional duty of the State to protect environment and rivers from pollution, the Karnataka High Court on Friday asked the H D Kumaraswamy government to file its response explaining the proposed steps to clean Cauvery at Bhagamandala in Madikeri. Hearing the public interest litigation filed by S E Jayanth and others from Kodagu district, the division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice H T Narendra Prasad issued the direction to the State to explain the proposed action to be taken to clean the river in the additional objections.
The court also indicated that it will issue the directions if the state government is not accorded sanction for resuming work and to release the funds to ensure that the sewage water is not entering the river, as the same is pending before the government.
On March 9, 2018, the Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu held a meeting with officials concerned and it was discussed that the Temple authorities have released Rs 5 lakh to Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Underground Drainage Board to prepare action plan to ensure the sewage water system in Bhagamandala Grama Panchayat and does not join the river. In fact, action plan was prepared in 2014-15 by the Board and the cost of the project was Rs 4.51 crore as per the revised plan. But it was not materialised as same is pending before the government.
Referring this, the petitioner has prayed the court to issue directions to the authorities to ensure sewage system to be properly laid Bhagamandala to ensure no pollution is caused either by the sewage water or by solid waste disposal in surrounding radius of 2 kms around Triveni Sangama.
In its objections, the State said that in Bhagamandala village, there are about 500 houses and about 40-50 houses situated close to river are generating sewage and is collected it in the soak pit. There will not be any discharge from these houses and sewage would join the river during summer.