Kali Bachao Andolan




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Parisara Samrakshana Kendra
Hulemalgi Building, Chowkimath
Sirsi (Uttara Kannada Dt.)
Karnataka - 581401
Tel: 91-8384-425139/425039 
Fax: 91-8384-4435450/427839
Email: appiko@sancharnet.in
Environment Support Group ®
S-3, Rajashree Apartments,
18/57,1st Main Road, S. R. K. Gardens,
Jayanagar, Bannerghatta Road,
Bangalore - 560041
Telefax: 91-80-6341977/6531339/6534364
Email: esg@bgl.vsnl.net.in
KBA Website: http://narmada.org/related.issues/kali/

Epidemic Outbreak of Gastroenteritis and Death due to Pollution of Kali River by West Coast Paper Mills

July 14, 2003

An epidemic outbreak of gastroenteritis has resulted in the death of a child, renal failure of a young man and serious illness of over 50 Gowli tribes from the Kariampalli village in Dandeli Taluk.  The apparent reason for this has been the discharge of untreated effluents from the West Coast Paper Mills, Dandeli into the Kali River, and the village happened to be the first from the point of discharge.

When villagers attempted to file a case with the police, they were dissuaded from doing so. 

The dead child was 10 days old, and born to Takki of Kariampalli. 

27 year old Janu suffered acute renal failure due to excess dehydration, and is presently in intensive care at the Nalwad Hospital in Hubli.  His family has incurred already an expense of over Rs. 30000/- for dialysis.

The District Authorities or the company has extended no support to any affected person or family.

As part of the Kali Bachao Andolan, we had met with the Chief Minister of Karnataka on 6th June and presented a representation urging immediate action on the threats to the river due to pollution, dams and sand mining.  The Chief Minister had directed the Environment Department for action, but surely this action has not been timely, or enough, to save the unfortunate child’s death.

We are enclosing the representation made to the Chief Minister today to provide more details on the issue. 

Your immediate action in covering this issue is certain to bring public and political pressure on the Government to at least now take action as required. 

We have demanded that:

  • West Coast Paper Mills must be immediately shut down, pending enquiry, and immediate action taken, including criminal proceedings against those directly involved, and also those complicitly involved, as per law.   
  • A high level enquiry must be orderedand an independent site visit be immediately undertaken to ascertain the extent of the damage caused to public health and environment, and the report must be made public.
  • A special investigation must be ordered to ascertain the reasons preventing the police and district authorities from refusing to accept complaints of the publicin this regard, and whether they are under pressure against acting in accordance with law, and the report made public.

Pandurang Hegde, Parisara Samrakshana Kendra, Sirsi
Leo F. Saldanha, Environment Support Group, Bangalore

Encl. As above