Dispute over STP project at West Kochi reaches Kerala High Court

The dispute over the site of the proposed sewage treatment plant (STP) at West Kochi has resulted in litigation with a local resident moving the Kerala High Court against the project. The court has posted the case for Tuesday.

C.A. Faisal, a resident of West Kochi and the secretary of the managing committee of a mosque in the region, has approached the court against the decision of Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) to set up the plant for the Kochi Corporation at Pathayathodu in Kalvathy area.

The plant with an installed capacity of 6.5-million-litre-per-day has been proposed on a 45-cent holding near the Kalvathy canal. The ₹166-crore plant will cater to Divisions 1 to 5 of the Kochi Corporation. The authorities plan to complete the work in two years.

The petitioner contended that the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), Fort Kochi, had earlier issued a stop memo against the attempts of the Corporation to dump waste in Pathayathodu. There was public resistance to the attempts of the civic body. The RDO had also issued specific communication to the Corporation not to carry out any construction activities there, he submitted.

Despite the prohibition order, the Corporation decided to implement the sanitation programme. The construction of the project was against the interest of the general public. The area had witnessed large-scale protests against the project, he submitted.

Ignoring the public protest, the petitioner submitted, the Corporation was moving ahead with the project with the support of the police. Soil test was also carried out at the site, stated the petition.

The petitioner further submitted that the RDO had not acted on his petition to enforce the earlier order restraining the Corporation from making changes to the original stretch of the canal and to implement the directions to remove waste and obstruction from the canal to ensure the free flow of water.

The original extent of the canal, which was used by the people of West Kochi for transportation, was 45 cents. The area where the canal is located has been marked as kulam (pond) in the Basic Tax Register. If the canal is removed for the project, it will lead to flooding in nearby areas and result in loss of life and property. The implementation of the project in the thickly populated area would lead to the outbreak of infectious diseases, he apprehended.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 7:03:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/dispute-over-stp-project-at-west-kochi-reaches-kerala-high-court/article37166992.ece

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