Harbour basin turns a cesspool
KOLLAM: Even as the Tangasseri harbour was constructed to be a model fishing harbour in the State, authorised and unauthorised drains that empty into the harbour complex are not only polluting it but also converting the harbour basin into a cesspool.
There are three authorised drains of the city Corporation that empty into the harbour complex. Interestingly one of them was recently renovated at a cost of Rs.7 lakh under the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-assisted Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project.
Two of them extend up to the basin and empty into it. These drains carry waste water and garbage from 10 divisions in the city. In addition to these drains, there are more than 50 unauthorised drains that empty into the harbour. These are mainly PVC pipes laid by individuals residing in the vicinity of the harbour.
Beach North Division councillor Basil Lal told The Hindu that the harbour was fast becoming a waste dumping yard of the city. If urgent measures were not taken to arrest this trend, the harbour, including the basin area, could soon become a health hazard, he said.
The situation could also affect the livelihood of a good number of fishermen who regularly fish in the basin area. Since there was very little tidal activity in the basin area, the pollutants emptied into the basin area remained there because of the breakwater on two sides.
A good portion of the plastics emptied into the basin area were trapped all along the bed of the 2.10-km-long main breakwater. Fishermen who searched for mussels in the basin area said the basin bed was getting slimy with pollutants at many points. This would badly affect the eco-system of the basin.
Mr. Basil Lal wanted a biogas plant to be constructed in the complex for treating the waste and pumping the treated waste into the sea beyond the main breakwater. Harbour authorities when contacted said that while there was no programme for a biogas plant within the complex, there was a scheme to treat the waste and pump it out it the sea. But that could be taken up only after the completion of the harbour road which was under construction.