The State would receive Rs. 5 crore for the remediation work.

The heavily-polluted Kuzhikandam creek at Eloor here is among the 12 toxic dump sites in the country identified by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for remediation work under the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) programme.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has already initiated talks with the State Pollution Control Boards in eight States to carry out the project. NCEF has approved Rs. 60 crore for preparing the detailed project report (DPR) for the sites.

Confirming the development, K. Sajeevan, chairman of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, told The Hindu on Tuesday that the State would receive Rs. 5 crore for drawing up the DPR for remediation work at Kuzhikandam creek.

According to CPCB, the creek was found to have huge deposits of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Investigations also revealed that 24.5 hectares of soil and water bodies at four locations in Eloor were contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals. The sites have been selected based on the quantum of waste dumped, extent of ground or surface water and soil contamination, nature of pollutants and ecological and health impacts.

Mr. Sajeevan said that the State government would have to provide 60 per cent of the total cost of the project. NCEF would pay the remaining 40 per cent. The estimate total cost for cleaning up the 12 sites identified is about Rs. 600 crore. Sources pointed out that the proposal for remediation of the 12 sites is based on the World Bank project on capacity building for industrial pollution management. The project report for the 12 sites will be prepared in consultations with industry experts. The expertise of consultants like Environmental Resource Management of Germany will also be utilized for identifying the technology to be used in these sites.

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