UDUPI: The toxic cocktail of chemicals, inorganic wastes and drainage water discharged into the Indrani river has made life miserable for people in Kalmady near Malpe in Udupi district. Though the river here has been badly polluted for a decade now, the nauseating odour and dark black water flowing in the river this year suggest that the situation is nearing the point of no return. If monitoring by the pollution control authority is not done even now and enforcement activities are not initiated to revive this resource, it will be the death knell for the river.
Govardhan Mendon, a resident of Kalmady, said not a single people’s representative showed the courtesy to listen to the woes of local people. ‘‘This polluted waterway is a risk to more than 500 families living along the path of the river in Kalmady,’’ he said.
‘‘Some residents have been repeatedly haunted by fever, while skin irritations too have blighted their lives,’’ he says, staring at the dark and murky water flowing before him -- a river carrying the weight of human apathy. Several cases of dengue and malaria in Udupi city municipal limits are from Kalmady.
Mohan, another resident of Kalmady, said that Udupi CMC officials who claim to have adopted best practices to mitigate environmental issues in the city should visit Kalmady and stay here for a day. ‘‘They will know the pain only then,’’ he rued. Places like Sasithota, Kakkethota, Matathota, Hosakatta and Baputhota are the worst affected as people in the entire area are complaining of health issues.
Udupi CMC president Sumithra Nayak said they will focus on treating wastewater before discharging it into the streams. There were some problems with regard to the damaged drainage pipeline in Udupi city some weeks back. The pipeline is being repaired now. The contamination level may come down gradually, she said.