A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Ernakulam District Collector to set apart 40 cents of land for getting a private pilot sewage treatment plant established in Kochi.

The Bench comprising acting Chief Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair and Justice P.S. Gopinathan ordered that Aquakem Engineers (India) Private Limited, a subsidiary of a Sharjah-based company, be allowed to set up the plant at its own cost. The company approached the court saying that it could install the sewage treatment plant and rent it out to the Kochi Corporation.

The court directed the District Collector to identify suitable land and hand it over to the company within 10 days. The Collector had also been directed to allot land to the Pollution Control Board for setting up a temporary STP plant at Brahmapuram.

The directives were issued on a petition filed by High Court lawyer R. Sudha seeking to prevent discharge of effluents into the Munnar river, the Periyar river, the Pambanar and the Chinnar from resorts, hotels and restaurants situated in and around Munnar.

The court also directed the corporation, the State government, the pollution control board and the Suchitwa Mission to monitor the work of the company and submit reports before the court.

The court opined that the authorities should think of introducing a system for granting licence to authorised agencies for collecting waste.

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