Residents have obtained a stay order from Madras High Court

After a long wait things seem to be falling in place for the Coimbatore Corporation to resume work at the Nanjundapuram sewage treatment plant (STP).

Corporation Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy told The Hindu that following an interaction with the Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) a few days ago, the Corporation was hopeful of getting the clearance to resume work.

“The Chairman has promised immediate action on the Corporation's pending request. I believe he has called for the necessary files from the Coimbatore office for perusal,” he said and added: “I too am writing a letter to the Chairman in this regard.”

The issue has to do with the objections raised by Nanjundapuram residents to the STP and the Corporation's remedial action.

The residents took the issue to the Madras High Court with a prayer to halt the construction. They alleged that the civic body had not followed the norms.

The court after a stay ordered the TNPCB to pass within four weeks orders on merits after hearing both the parties. This was in 2010.

Both the parties represented their case. The TNPCB also called for more details from the Corporation, including a copy of the detailed project report. It also asked the Corporation to carry out certain rectifications, carry out more studies and then file a fresh application for clearance.

According to the suggestion, the Corporation approached the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras, to test the structural stability of the STP.

Experts submitted a report asking the Corporation to carry out any one of the three remedial measures. Mr. Ponnusamy said the first was to construct a new collection well, the second was to relocate two of the four collection wells, and the third was to provide green cover using trees with good foliage on the vacant space.

The Corporation has suggested that it was ready to adopt the third suggestion as it involved comparatively very little financial implication. “Having invested around Rs. 7 crore on civil works, the Corporation cannot afford to waste those or go in for additional ones with revised estimates.”

The Corporation has estimated the cost of construction at Rs. 37 crore. It had spent close to Rs. 17 crore, of which Rs. 11 crore was on machinery.