Polluted Phalguni river is threatening lives and livelihood of fishermen

02:40 PM Oct 19, 2020 | Team Udayavani |
Bengre: Hundreds of industrial enterprises that have cropped up in and around Mangaluru have become deadly to all sources of water near the city. The Phalguni river, flowing through the Dakshina Kannada district, has also not been spared. The dumping of chemical waste into the river by industrial units has adversely affected the health of thousands of fishermen dependent on the river. The skin of the fishermen's leg, who stay for hours in the water, redden and boils appear on them later. The itching becomes so severe that it is impossible to get into the water after a couple of days. In Bengre village itself, there are over 200 traditional boats with over a thousand fishermen working with it. Most people now have boils on their legs. Four to five people go out to fish in a boat, even if one of them is sick then all of them lose their earnings. Most of these fishermen find it difficult to earn enough to feed themselves and their families and on the other hand, they also have instalments to pay over the loans for their boats. Though many times in the past, the fishermen have held protests against the contamination of the river, no solution has come their way. "Neither large industries nor any companies can direct waste into rivers by law. There are waste treatment plants for these. Leakages in the city's sewers may be the cause of the river water's pollution. The Department of Fisheries should investigate the source of the problem." - Keerthi Kumar, Pollution Control Board, Mangaluru Traditional fishing has become unfeasible because of the chemical dumped into the river. As a result of which are legs have developed itching and boils. The administration needs to think seriously about it and take action. Otherwise, we will have to reignite our protests for the sake of our lives. - Ajith S Karkera, President, Sampradayik Nadadoni Minugarara Sangha (Traditional Fishermens' Association)

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