Vaman Acharya, Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), said on Thursday that the KSPCB had named Mangalore and Bhadravati as “critically polluted” cities in the State.

He was inaugurating a three-day international conference on “Environment and occupation health” organised by Manipal University, the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad, and the Regional Occupational Health Centre (ROHC), Bangalore, here.

The State government will purchase additional 200 MW of power from Gujarat from January to meet the demand during the summer months, Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters here, Karandlaje said the State now purchases 1,280 MW from Gujarat, Chattisgarh and private producers to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the Central and state governments to act against “endosulfan poisoning” in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts as the pesticide was wreaking havoc on many families there.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna, hearing a suo motu petition, observed that the endosulfan chemical had ruined “generations.” The court pointed out that a mother wanted her endosulfan-affected child to die as she thought there would not be anyone to look after it, in case of her death first. Such instances depicted the gravity of the situation.

Describing that the health problems caused to people in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts from the use of endosulfan are “next only to the Bhopal gas tragedy”, the State government on Wednesday submitted to the Karnataka High Court that it was time to make the polluter to pay compensation in such cases.

Submission in this regard was made before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition, initiated suo motu by the court, on the issue of sufferings of the people affected by the use of endosulfan in two districts. The PIL petition was initiated following a letter written by K.L. Manjunath, a judge of the High Court.

Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL), a subsidiary of Lanco Infratech Ltd, has commenced commercial operation of its second unit of 600 Mw in Udupi district of Karnataka. The company had synchronised the second unit a month ago with the grid and was waiting for the completion of 400 Kv transmission line between Nandikur and Hassan.

According to Panduranga Rao, Director and CEO, UPCL, the power project was completed about one and a half years ago and there was no evacuation of power due to the absence of 400 Kv transmission line.

Effluents of thermal power plants contain trace elements and heavy metals, needs remediation before discharging to the environment. Heavy metals tend to bioaccumulate in a biological organism, such as fish and thus enter the human food chain. Present study has been carried out to assess the contamination of water sources in Yellur and surrounding villages closer to a thermal power plant in Udupi district, Karnataka state.

In a bid to deal with the dipping water level in almost all reservoirs across the State, the government on Wednesday decided to release Rs 176 crore for drought and flood-related works. Rs one crore has been earmarked for each of the 123 drought-affected taluks.

Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda, as instructed by the party high command, held a meeting to review the prevailing drought situation. Surprisingly, his detractors Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti and Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai were present. Minor Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol too attended the meeting.

Task force is involving forest-dwellers and farmers to protect biodiversity

Ananth Hegde Ashisar, chairman of the Western Ghats Task Force, said on Monday that the task force was drawing farmers, forest-dwellers and students to join it in its drive to protect biodiversity in the Western Ghats.

Water scarcity always evokes a knee-jerk measure - drilling borewells; long-term plans need of the hour.

Every drop is priceless: Scramble for water is a common sight in villages during summer. Given the ever-increasing demand for the precious commodity, only scientific conservation methods will save the day. Elected representatives are demanding more and more funds from the government for drilling borewells in the 123 drought affected taluks spread across 24 districts.

Tremors: Residents and fishermen in coastal areas put on tsunami alert

Bangalore and most parts of Karnataka are located in the least (seismic) active zone in the country, according to the seismic map of Indian Meteorological Department. The country is divided into five different zones, depending on the seismic activities. While zone one has the least activity, zone five has the highest. Parts of Malnad and Coastal regions of the State fall in zone two and three.

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