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Expert committee visits UPCL pollution-affected areas
Padubidri, November 20th, 2011: On hearing pleas from the people affected by the pollution caused by UPCL power plant, at a meeting held at Udupi DC office, the expert committee comprising of Karnataka Bio-fuel Development Board chairman Dr. Y.B. Ramakrishna, Dr. T.V. Ramachandra, Senior Officer of Karnataka Environment Pollution Control Board C.D. Kumart and others visited the affected sites near Padebettu temple and Ulloor areas. They carried out their inspection on Saturday and continued it on Sunday as well. They visited the houses of Kariya Shetty and Dayanand Devadige, and inspected their wells and agricultural land for the damage caused. They observed the well water, a source of drinking water, being contaminated with chemicals and found it to be saline. Also a small stream of water flowing in, was found to be contaminated. They also took the photographs of affected paddy and areca nut fields.
The managing trustee of Padebettu Shri Subrahmanya temple, Jithendra Shetty, gave details of damage caused due to the fly-ash over the temple.
President Nandikur Janajagriti Samiti Balakrishna Shetty Dubai, Y. Madhav Shetty, Jayanth Kumar, Nagesh Bhat, environmentalist Vidya Dinakar, Dinesh Shetty and others were present.
Visit of November 20th, 2011: The experts resumed their inspection work on Sunday morning and this time they visited the fly-ash storage facility near Santhur. They expressed their unhappiness over the way the fly-ash stored in open. And when they observed the open trucks dumping fly-ash at the site, the staff of contracting company OEG were warned. Local residents Kusuma, Prafulla, Geetha, Umavati, Prema, Vanitha, Rekha and others complained that the well water of around 60 to 70 nearby houses were contaminated and urged for the supply of clean drinking water. When informed by C.D. Kumar that no samples collected for testing the well water, Dr. Ramakrishna was upset and he immediately phoned District Commissioner to make necessary arrangements for the supply of drinking water. The locals also complained that during monsoon, the rain water mixes with fly-ash stored and flows into nearby fields and making it unsuitable for agriculture. On visiting the Kolachur area, it was brought to the notice of the experts, how the railways tracks were also getting corroded quickly. It was decided to intimate railways through local administration. He took photographs of coal being stored in the open. Local resident of Saje area - Vasudeva Rao and his wife gave full account of respiratory trouble caused to the elderly by the fly-ash and its adverse effect on agriculture.
Nandikur Janajagriti Samiti president Balakrishna Shetty Dubai, Nagesh Bhat, Jayanth Kumar, environmentalist Vidya Dinakar, Madhava Shetty, Dinesh Shetty, Nitin Shetty, Mudarangadi Grama Panchayat president Sunil Raj Shetty, past president Ravindra Prabhu, Gulabi Shetty, Geetha Shetty, Vinod Shetty and others were present.
News and picttures by: Hareesh Kumar Hejmady