The HC was hearing a PIL on the water quality of KC Valley on Thursday.

Kaka HC raps state govt for irresponsible usage of public money on KC Valley project
news Civic Issues Friday, August 17, 2018 - 10:57

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday lambasted the state government for squandering public money on the KC Valley project supplying treated water from Bengaluru to lakes in Kolar. The HC was hearing a PIL filed by Shasvata Niravari Horata Samithi on the water quality of KC Valley on Thursday.

The petition was being heard by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who came down heavily on the state government and termed it “casual and irresponsible approach” in dealing with the project.

“If the state government abandons the project, then the court will not hesitate to impose a liability on those who have irresponsibly spent Rs 1,300 crore from the State exchequer,” the Chief Justice said.

While the HC has sought details of the project cost from the government, the state government has requested for more time for filing their version of the story.

The court has adjourned the matter to September 11, where it will hear the government’s response.

On July 23, the High Court had passed an interim order, directing the government to stop pumping water from Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in Bengaluru’s Koramangala-Challaghatta (KC) Valley to minor irrigation tanks in Kolar and Chikkaballapura districts till August 1.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice R. Devdas passed the interim order after the government counsel said that releasing treated water was stopped as water got mixed with treated water.

The Chief Justice had expressed his dissatisfaction then too and had reprimanded the officials for their negligent work. The bench had said that the water flow must stop until test results on the water samples were ready and approved.

The interim order was passed during the hearing of a PIL petition, filed by R Anjaneya Reddy of Chikkaballapura, complaining that the KC valley project was implemented without any scientific study and that treated water contained industrial effluents.

After hearing arguments, the court had observed that there was nothing wrong with the project as long as it was implemented properly.

Earlier this year, the government’s counsel had submitted an affidavit of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board's Chief Scientific Officer H Lokeshwari, which stated that water samples were collected at the discharge point and at the lake point, and tested at the Central Environmental Laboratory. An analysis revealed that the heavy metals were within permissible limits. "The quality of treated water is fit for irrigation," she said in the affidavit.

However, counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the same report terms water quality index as ‘unsatisfactory’ while referring to various other testing parameters.

On July 18, when the treated water was released into lakes in Kolar and Chikkaballapur, residents had held a massive protest and had threatened to send the frothy water in tankers to MLAs. This prompted Anjaneya Reddy to file the PIL.

 

 

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