Submitted by Editor on Fri, 2016-01-22 17:41 Mangalore: The lack of political will to save Netravati river from pollution has given a free hand to labourers settled on its banks to contaminate its water. Downstream, the river's water is supplied to households for drinking purposes. Therefore, the government has erected signboards along its bank, prohibiting people from bathing, washing clothes/utensils and washing cattle in the river water. However, labourers who have come to Karnataka for various construction projects and live in tents along the river do just that. The administration has not bothered to check if its directive is being violated. The tehsildar had got the signboard installed, but its purpose is clearly lost owing to lack of enforcement and vigilance. Hundreds of labourers from other states are put up near the river in shacks. Contractors hire them for low wages, and most employers do not provide them with living amenities, leaving them to fend for themselves. Communities of these labourers set up small colonies near the construction site or near a water body, duly polluting it throughout their stay. Hundreds of labourers are living in shacks in Goodinabali, on the shore of Netravati. They are from neighbouring districts in Karnataka as well as from other states. As their contractor has not provided them quarters, they have set up their own makeshift shanties. Owing to lack of toilets, they defecate in open on the riverside, aside from washing clothes and utensils in its water. As this water is used for drinking, the pollution it undergoes upstream may cause water-borne diseases. The district administration, taluk panchayat and town council need to take action to curb this activity.