High Court warns Mangaluru civic body, KSPCB over Pachanady garbage disaster

News Network
October 24, 2020

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Mangaluru, Oct 24: The High Court of Karnataka has asked the Mangaluru City Corporation and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to clarify its stance on appointing an organisation such as the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute to prevent recurrence of tragedies such as the Pachanady disaster.

In August 2019, a mound of garbage at the Pachanady landfill, on the outskirts of the coastal city slid downwards landing on various houses and several houses. 

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka pointed out to the MCC and the pollution board that the garbage dump had become a major health hazard, contaminating local groundwater aquifers.

The court also sought an explanation from the member-secretary of the KSPCB on whether or not action would be taken against the officer who had failed to lodge a complaint in connection with the Pachanady disaster 14 months after the incident, instead of doing so immediately after.

The court was informed that the state government had disbursed the remaining quantum of amount, Rs 14 crore, towards compensation for those affected by the disaster. The lawyer for the MCC, meanwhile, issued a new paper publication calling on all those affected by the disaster to submit their claims.

The court is hearing the case following a PIL filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority.

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News Network
November 17,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 16: Karnataka reported 1,157 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.

According to the state Health Department, the total count of cases in the state has gone up to 8,62,804.

With 12 more persons losing their lives due to the pandemic, the death toll has increased to 11,541.

A total of 2,188 persons have been discharged in the last 24 hours and the total number of active cases stands at 26,103.

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News Network
November 20,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 20: In a surprise submission, the Karnataka government on Thursday told the High Court that it has no intention to prosecute Bangalore South Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya and other political leaders for not wearing a mask while in public space.

In an affidavit, the government said it does not intend to pursue further action against violators of the mask and physical distancing rule under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act as it is the uniform policy to not inflict 'harsh punishment'. A fine of Rs 250 for urban areas and Rs 100 for rural areas is deemed as sufficient punishment.

But the bench headed by Chief Justice AS Oka was not impressed. The bench observed that once a person furnishes the fine amount, they admit to committing the violation, and the state government’s failure to prosecute them has serious consequences. The state government has been urged to put its statement on record on the next date of hearing.

The government’s refusal against prosecuting violators was intended only to protect politicians, the bench said. Even opposition leaders like Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President DK Shivakumar were also found guilty of the same violations.

The bench is hearing a petition filed by advocate Ramesh Puthige raising allegations that directives for Covid-19 management laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) were not followed or implemented in Karnataka.

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Agencies
November 18,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 18: Vijayanagara, which will be carved out of Ballari district, is set to be Karnataka's 31st district after Cabinet nod on Wednesday.

Chief minister BS Yediyurappa had last year announced he will soon place a proposal before the cabinet for approval of carving out Vijayanagara district, which is named after the capital of historic Vijayanagara Empire.

The CM had further said that Hospete, Kampli, Hagaribommanahalli, Kottur, Hadagali and Harapanahalli will form the new district of Vijayanagara with Hospete as the district headquarters. Ballari, Kurugodu, Siraguppa, Sandur and Kudligi taluks will continue to be part of Ballari district, with Ballari city as headquarters.

Yediyurappa, in a note to the media, had in 2019 said Ballari has become difficult to administer since it has 11 taluks and 11 revenue sub-divisions. In most cases, farmers, daily wage labourers and poor people have to travel long distances to reach the district headquarters in Ballari city. "As a result, it is considered to ease trouble by carving out a separate district for efficient administration," the note read.

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