The Supreme Court on Monday refused to lift the stay on use of secondary treated wastewater for recharge of groundwater in two districts of Karnataka. The apex court had earlier barred the use of secondary treated water from municipal waste and factory discharge after reports of foaming and pollution appeared in Bangalore's Bellandur lake and other lakes.
Upholding the stay, the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked the Karnataka government to file fresh applications with data backing up the claim. A petition filed before the apex court claimed that this water has heavy metals and toxic chemicals and using this water for agriculture and groundwater recharge will destroy crops and the environment.
The state of Karnataka in its application has claimed that water is now being treated before discharge and treated water does not have these chemicals and state should be allowed to release the water. The apex court had in January stayed the order passed by Karnataka High Court permitting authorities to pump treated water into tanks in Kolar district under the Koramangala Challaghatta (KC) valley project. R Anjaneya Reddy, an activist from Kolar and Chikkaballapura region, had filed the appeal in the apex court against the Karnataka High Court order.