Rs.1,200-crore proposal will be submitted to NRCD in three months

The Pampa River Basin Authority (PRBA) has chalked out 15 components to be included in the second phase of the Pampa Action Plan (PAP-II) and the multi-crore proposal will be submitted to the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) in three months.

G. Anilkumar, project director, told The Hindu that the NRCD, attached to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the State government would implement the project, sharing the project cost at a ratio of 70:30. The PRBA, he says, is keen on executing the plan aimed at checking pollution and conserving the Pampa in a time-bound manner.

The 15-component PAP-II is estimated to cost Rs.1,200 crore and funds will not be a problem for executing the project, he says.

First phase

The first, second, third, and sixth components of the PAP-I, for setting up two sewage treatment plants (STP) at Sabarimala and Pampa and for laying sewer lines to the plants, could not be executed owing to technical problems.

Now, the government has entrusted the PRBA project director with the powers for the effective execution of the project, ensuring maximum transparency, he says.

The PRBA project director will be monitoring each and every aspect of the project, acting as a link between the government and the stakeholders.

Mr. Anilkumar says a detailed project report is not mandatory for getting clearance for a project under the National River Conservation Programme.

The PRBA has already asked the local body authorities concerned to identify viable schemes to be included in the various components of the PAP-II and submit their project proposals to the authority before August 15, so these could be included in the project proposal to be submitted to the NRCD.

Mr. Anilkumar says a project estimated at Rs.156.3 crore for setting up sewage treatment plants for treating waste generated at hotels, houses, and along the river banks, and a Rs.131.2-crore project for constructing toilets and retiring centres for Sabarimala pilgrims at various base camps and other places along the Pampa are two major components of the proposal.

A Rs.225-crore project to construct check-dams, crossbars, and similar modern projects in the Pampa in order to increase the flow and to address the drinking water problem facing Sabarimala is another major component.

A Rs.50-crore project will be included in the proposal for setting up water quality analysis laboratories at different points along the riverbank, besides Rs.12 crore for a public awareness campaign.

He said rejuvenation of the Varattar, a 9-km-long natural flood escape route between the Pampa and the Manimala river, that has been degenerated into a ‘dry’ river will be another major step to be initiated as part of the PAP-II.