Karnataka HC permits testing of K-C valley water supply system
- The Karnataka High Court permitted the State government and its agencies to temporarily conduct a trial run of the system which pumps treated water from Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) in Bengaluru’s Koramangala-Challaghatta (KC) valley to minor irrigation tanks in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts, only for the purpose of analysing quality of treated water to be collected in two jack wells. It said water cannot be pumped or released to the tanks.
- A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice S.G. Pandit passed the order after Advocate-General Udaya Holla told the bench that measures were taken by the authorities to prevent entry of untreated water into the system, as had occurred during heavy rains in July.
- The authorities had stopped release of water to the tanks after untreated water accidentally entered the system during heavy rains.
- When it was pointed out to the bench that treated water is stored in two jack wells, one of which constructed close to the STPs and another at a distance of 9.5 km from the first jack well, the bench suggested letting the authorities run the system temporarily to store treated water in the two jack wells and submit a report of water collected in the two jack wells to the court by September 20.
- Though it was told to the bench that analysis revealed that water related to the tanks meets all minimum requirements for utilisation for irrigation purposes and groundwater recharging, the bench said that it should be doubly ensured that the system does not carry contaminated water to the irrigation tanks in Kolar and Chickkaballapur districts, as people in the two districts were already facing contamination of groundwater.
‘Deforestation, heavy rainfall led to Kodagu calamity’
- A report by the technical team of The Institution of Engineers (India), Mysuru Local Centre, has identified man-made interventions like road construction and property development, besides the extremely heavy and prolonged rainfall, as causes for the recent destruction in Kodagu.
- Deforestation has been happening over the decades due to human incursions into the Western Ghats, for reasons like road construction, power transmission lines, ore mining, stone quarrying, sand mining, ground water extraction, change of land use from forest to agriculture or human settlement, tourism, etc.
- Deforestation has been occurring gradually and incrementally as well as on a larger scale for government-sponsored infrastructure projects
- Besides affecting rainfall patterns, deforestation in Kodagu seriously affects the surface and subsoil water capacity of the Cauvery river basin, the report said while warning that it could pose a threat to water security of all the four states of the river basin.
Suggestions of experts
- The report said the largescale destruction in Kodagu could have been averted if the recommendations of Madhav Gadgil Committee on Ecologically Sensitive Zones of Western Ghats of 2011 had been implemented.
- The subsequent Kasturirangan Committee Report on Western Ghats, which had recommended substantially milder measures, too had been rejected by all the States of Western Ghats, the report rued.
- In order to prevent recurrence of such destruction, the report recommends the government to prevent deforestation and tree felling in the name of development and punish the offenders.
- Planting of endemic species of saplings should be taken up on all the deforested slopes.
- Halt all infrastructure projects, which threaten the ecology of Western Ghats the report said while calling for a halt to mining of ore and sand, besides measures to prevent pollution by industries in Kodagu district.
- No permission should be given for Special Economic Zones and no permission should be given for conversion of public lands to private ownership
- A technical team from The Institution of Engineers (India), Mysuru Local Centre, visited the sites of damages to the arterial roads in Kodagu on August 26 to assess the damages and the possible causes for landslips, which interrupted road transportation on roads including national and state highways.
‘Mysuru-Madikeri line to end at Kushalnagar
- The controversial Mysuru-Madikeri railway line, which has generated opposition from environmentalists and the people of Kodagu, will be terminated at Kushalnagar.
- Similarly, the State government will not allow the proposed railway link to Madikeri from Thalassery in Kerala, given the sensitivity of the region’s ecology and the recent landslips and floods.
- The project would terminate at Alur Siddapura, after linking Hunsur and Periyapatna
- It was announced that the fuelling point for Hamsafar Express was inaugurated in Mysuru on Tuesday
- This arrangement will facilitate trains at originating stations. Previously, Hamsafar Express was being fueled en route, at Hubballi.
Tree park named after Salumarada Thimmakka
- The Forest Department has developed a tree park named after Salumarada Thimmakka, known for planting and taking care of hundreds of saplings, in Jajuru Reserve Forest in Arsikere taluk.
- The park located between Arsikere and Banavara on National Highway 206 has been attracting a huge crowd on weekends, though it has not been inaugurated officially.
- The park had been developed at a cost of around Rs. 30 lakh & It has been named after Salumarada Thimmakka, recognising her contribution.
- The department has started a programme to set up tree parks named after Thimmakka in different places
- The park has a walk-path of 1.5 km, two pergolas, benches, children’s play area and toilets.
- H.R. Swamy, an environmentalist and Principal of Government Junior College at Balenahalli in Arsikere taluk, called for an open-air theatre in the park.
MoU signed for promoting rural entrepreneurship
- The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and the Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP), a non-governmental organisation, have signed a memorandum of understanding for arranging loan to members of SKDRDP, for promoting rural entrepreneurship.
- According to the MoU, SIDBI will sanction loan up to Rs. 3 lakh either for starting a new business activity or to upgrade the existing business activity of self-help group members of SKDRDP.
- The loan will be given for non-farming activity. But it covers agro-processing.
- The agreement signed has aimed at investing Rs. 500 crore in the next two years in rural areas for promoting rural entrepreneurship.
- The SKDRDP has planned to promote SHGs of youth especially to promote rural entrepreneurship by arranging the loan of SIDBI, he said.
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