Residents of Siddapura in Kodagu district of Karnataka have alleged that coffee pulp waste is being let into the Cauvery River flowing through the town by estate owners in the area.
The estate flagged by residents is located next to the Siddapura-Nelliyahadikeri bridge. Residents in the area alleged that the waste water is being allowed to run into the river through the canal built to let rainwater run into the river.
"By law, estate owners are required to store coffee pulping waste and are not allowed to let it into the river. There are several coffee estates in the area and the issue has come to our notice and we are looking into it," a police official working in Siddapura told TNM.
According to environmentalists, coffee pulp waste can be hazardous to marine ecology. "It is irresponsible of the estate owner to let the waste run into the river since if it is untreated, it is quite hazardous for marine ecology. The officials should take necessary action over the issue," Col. Muthanna, President of the Coorg Wildlife Society told TNM.
The Siddapura Gram Panchayat has issued a notice to the estate owner to stop letting the pulping waste enter the river. "It has come to our notice and the Panchayat has issued a notice on February 15. The issue will be examined in detail and action will be taken on the estate owner if it is found that the waste is being let into the river," Vishwanath, Siddapura Gram Panchayat Development Officer said.
Both police and Gram Panchayat officials refused to identify the owner until a formal complaint is registered. The district officials also confirmed that this is not a common occurrence and that pollution control board officials routinely inspect coffee estates in the area.
The issue has also come to the notice of Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge, who directed Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani to look into the issue.