Relief for Kolar residents: K’taka HC extends stay on controversial KC Valley project

The stay on the project has been extended till September 20.
Relief for Kolar residents: K’taka HC extends stay on controversial KC Valley project
Relief for Kolar residents: K’taka HC extends stay on controversial KC Valley project

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday extended the stay on the controversial Koramangala-Challaghatta (KC) Valley project till September 20. This means that the “partially treated” frothy water cannot be let into minor irrigation tanks in Kolar till the next date of hearing. The HC also directed the Advocate General to submit more reports on the quality of water.

Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice R Devdas of the Karnataka High Court had issued a stay on the project on July 24 in an interim order while hearing a Public Interest Litigation by Shashwatha Neeravari Horata Samiti based in Kolar. The decision was passed taking in cognisance the substandard quality of water supplied by the state government’s Minor Irrigation Department as pointed out by the petitioner.

The HC in a subsequent hearing had also lambasted the state government for squandering public money on the KC Valley project supplying treated water from Bengaluru to lakes in Kolar.

Petitioner R Anjaneya Reddy of the Samiti told TNM, “The court is not happy with the state’s response. We want course correction of the project by means of tertiary treatment plants along with real time monitoring of the water quality so that our only source of drinking water is not polluted.”

The project was planned in order to recharge the groundwater of the parched regions of Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts. However, the petitioner pointed out that the supplied water contained higher than permissible amounts of E.coli bacteria and dissolved oxygen.

On July 18, when the treated water was released into lakes of the region, residents had held a massive protest and also threatened to send the frothy water in tankers to MLAs.

Anjaneya Reddy had complained that the KC Valley project was implemented without any scientific study and that the treated water contained industrial effluents. The project was flagged even in its planning stage by a veteran scientist at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and other independent experts.

“This water will contain phosphorus and nitrates. This will also pollute the surrounding groundwater. If there is a high concentration of nitrates in the water, it can be carcinogenic,” the veteran scientist told TNM in March.

For the project, sewage water from Koramangala and Challaghatta, including water from the Bellandur and Varthur Lakes, is treated at sewage treatment plants installed in Bellandur before being released to Kolar. The water is also released to a few tanks in Chintamani taluk of the neighbouring Chikballapur district.


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