Mangaluru, (The Hindu): Residents of three houses in Kanekere in Deralakatte on the outskirts of Mangaluru are concerned over deposits of petrol and diesel in the two open disused wells in their locality. These two wells are located at the lower gradient behind the retaining wall of an old petrol station located at a higher gradient.
Usman, a resident of the three affected houses, said they noticed traces of petrol and diesel in the water on Tuesday evening when they were clearing the water in the open well following the local Belma panchayat closing the septic tank of a complex nearby that had polluted the water in the two wells.
“We pulled out a pot of water and smelt traces of petrol and diesel. We poured the water on the ground and lit it with a matchstick and we saw flames,” he said. Mr. Usman reported the same to the Panchayat on Wedneday, who in turn reported the same to the Fire and Emergency Services, police and the local revenue officials. Usman alleged that the water in their well has been contaminated with petrol and diesel leaked from storage tank of the Indian Oil Corporation’s petrol station.
While ruling out seepage of petrol and diesel into the ground water, Indian Oil Corporation’s Chief Divisional Manager (Retail Sales) Anup Kushwah said seepage, if any, will result in decrease of quantity of petrol and diesel in the underground storage tank. He said there has not been any change in the quantity of the petrol and diesel that was stocked.
In order to clear apprehensions among residents, the IOCL officials closed operations of the petrol bunk around 1 p.m. in presence of Belma Panchayat members after taking stock of petrol and diesel in the storage tank. The stock will checked on Friday at 1 p.m. and then petrol bunk will resume operation, an IOCL official said.
A team of officials from the Karnataka Pollution Control Board headed by Senior Scientific Officer Jayaprakash Nayak visited the spot and checked the water samples. While the proportion of fuel was more in the water in the open well in Usman’s house, it was mix of untreated sewage and fuel in the water in the open well of Usman’s neighbour Ismail.
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