Our efforts get rewarded as the creek in Murdeshwar gets cleaner

During January, 2017 a legal training on the Karnataka Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1986 at Murdeshwar village was being conducted by the Uttar Kannada team of the Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program.

After the training, a few fishermen explained to them that there were several hotels and restaurants which were discharging effluent directly into a creek which by-passed their village and went on to join the sea. This was polluting the creek and also impacting the ground water in their village. Moreover, the creek was carrying all the effluent to the beach and the sea and in turn polluting both, the boat parking area of fishermen and the fishing water. Further, on account of Murdeshwar being a busy tourist destination, the peak season witnessed an increase in the amount of pollution. They had been complaining about this to the local authority for the last one year.

Vinod Patgar, an Enviro-legal coordinator began the task of gathering information regarding the issue. He collected documents such as the Panchyat Clearance, consents from the Pollution Control Board (PCB) and previous complaints made by the fishermen to the Assistant Commissioner (AC), Bhatkal and the local Panchayat. This helped him discover that 8 hotels were discharging effluent and solid waste into the creek. Moreover, in response to a Right to Information application filed by Vinod, it was gathered that the PCB had written a letter to the local Panchayat informing them that it had not granted any consent to the hotels and that action should be taken. However, the Panchayat was not certain as to which legal provision could be used to take action.

Vinod studied the Panchayat Raj Act, 1993 and found out that there as per section 75 and section 87 of the Act, Panchyats were bound to take action in cases of water pollution which fell within their jurisdiction. Armed with this information, the villagers wrote a letter to the Panchayat and also visited the Taluk Panchayat and the AC. This was followed by regular follow ups.

Approaching the higher authorities such as the Taluk Panchayat and the AC was useful since it led to a site visit by the AC. All of this pressurised the Panchayat to take action. Thus, as a result of the clients’ and Vinod’s efforts, the Panchayat issued a notice to all 8 hotels and made an arrangement to collect the effluent and solid waste from the 8 hotels directly.

Last time a visit was paid to the creek, it was much cleaner than before.

@namati_staff @cpr_team

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Amazing results! :clap: :clap: :clap:

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing, @vinod! Can I post it on the main Namati website, too?

(I apologize for my late comment. When you first posted, I could only quickly look at it – I saved it in my inbox to ensure I came back to it and gave it the time it deserves.)

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Very interesting and Papua First Nation has similar just that we need skill exposure to address such concerns in Papua in Papua New Guinea. serihegame

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Wow its a great achievment congragulations

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Congratulations Papua First Nation believes we have a serious riparian case with the Kura river OIL SPILL and people in the area it is coming from old pipes built by the Australian Petroleum Company back in 1926 or thereabouts. serihegame