The State Water Transport Department (SWTD) has prepared a detailed project to set up chemical toilets in its boats.

The director, SWTD, Shaji V. Nair told The Hindu that a detailed project for setting up chemical toilets at a total cost of Rs 70 lakh has been submitted to the State Government. “Once the Government approves the project, chemical toilets will be set up in 50 boats of the Department in the first phase,” he said. The Department is running a total of 84 boats in six districts with a total of 14 operating stations.

The proposal is to set up special tanks to collect the waste in boats and treat them using chemicals. The setting up of toilets comes in the wake of the Inland Vessels (Amendments) Act, 2007 which deals on protection of inland water by prevention and control of pollution in these water bodies. The Port Department had given instructions to the SWTD to come out with toilets that do not pollute the water bodies by dumping its waste into it. Currently, the boats of the Department are equipped with toilets, but the waste matter is discharged into the water bodies.

The Port Department had also instructed the houseboats to have toilets that does not discharge waste into the water bodies. The Vembanad lake had been bearing the wastes from the boats and houseboats in the area, with recent studies showing alarming rise in pollution in the last one year.

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