Kochi Corporation to face prosecution for violating environment laws

The Kochi Corporation will face prosecution proceedings for violation of Water, Air and Environment Protection Acts for unauthorised or improper management of solid waste at Brahmapuram.

The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal had recommended prosecution and environment compensation for the civic body’s failure to comply with the norms. Even though the State Pollution Control Board had fixed the environment compensation, the prosecution proceedings have not yet started despite clear directives from the tribunal.

Senior officials at the head office of the board in Thiruvananthapuram said that the notice under Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 will be issued to the Secretary of the civic body only after collecting evidence showing violation of the various Acts. The assessment of the quantity of old waste at the site had to be ascertained before issuing the notice, they said.

The officials responsible will face legal action under the relevant sections of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The violations are punishable with imprisonment up to one year and six months in the first instance and it may extend up to six years with fine as per relevant sections of the Water Act.

The Corporation has been operating the solid waste disposal site at Brahmapuram without valid authorisation of the board since May 2010. Besides waste from areas under the Corporation’s jurisdiction, biodegradable waste from Aluva, Angamaly, Thrikkakara, Thripunitura and Kalamassery municipalities and Cherannalloor, Kumbalanghi and Vadavucode-Puthencruz grama panchayats are dumped at the yard.

The inspections revealed that the plastic waste was disposed without any reprocessing. Only a small amount of plastic waste is being transferred to outside agencies, resulting in the accumulation of waste at the site. The mixed waste is being stored in huge quantities at approximately five metres from the Kadambrayar, a polluted river stretch identified by the Central Pollution Control Board, according to the board.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 7:27:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-corporation-to-face-prosecution-for-violating-environment-laws/article33604682.ece

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