A Government survey has revealed further encroachments of the Konothupuzha in the river stretch coming under the jurisdiction of Mulanthuruthy and Chottanikkara grama panchayats.
The Hindu had reported on Wednesday that the Revenue Department had found nearly 21 cases of encroachment of the riverbanks along the stretch coming under the Thripunithura municipality. The 17-km-long Konothupuzha lies between the Champakkara canal and the Vembanad lake and runs through Thripunitura municipality, and Chottanikkara, Mulanthuruthy, Udayamperoor and Amballoor grama panchayats.
The Survey Department has found three encroachments of the riverbanks in Mulanthuruthy while one case was reported on the stretch coming under the jurisdiction of Chottanikkara panchayat. The secretaries of both the local bodies have mentioned the details of the encroachments in their updated status report submitted before the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The court had asked the Government to take immediate measures to save the river from pollution and encroachment.
Notices have been issued to the encroachers for eviction. But the main issue was the rehabilitation of three families as they had no other house or property, said the report filed by the secretary of Mulanthuruthy panchayat. The Chottanikkara panchayat secretary said he was awaiting a report from the Tahsildar, Land Records, at Kanayannoor taluk before going ahead with the eviction.
On the steps being taken to check pollution, the authorities of Chottanikkara panchayat said CCTVs were installed near waterbodies, major junctions, and other hotspots in a bid to nab violators. The health wing of the local body has initiated steps to impose fine on those found dumping waste in public places, waterbodies and roads as per the provisions of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 and Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The report filed by the secretary of Mulanthuruthy panchayat said the local body had set a deadline to ensure scientific collection and disposal of non-biodegradable waste by March next year. Members of the Haritha Karma Sena were collecting waste from households and institutions at regular intervals, it said.