Kochi

Municipality comes under SLMC scanner

Matter of concern: Untreated waste water from the dumping yard in North Kalamassery has resulted in the pollution of Muttarpuzha, a tributary of the Periyar.

Matter of concern: Untreated waste water from the dumping yard in North Kalamassery has resulted in the pollution of Muttarpuzha, a tributary of the Periyar.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Kalamassery Municipality has ‘failed’ to prevent sewage flow into Muttarpuzha

The Kalamassery Municipality is yet again under the scanner of the State Level Monitoring Committee on Solid Waste Management (SLMC), constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), for its “failure” to prevent the flow of sewage from the municipal market and the solid waste dump site at North Kalamassery.

The SLMC has warned of slapping additional penalty on the civic body for not taking steps to check the flow of untreated sewage into Muttarpuzha, a tributary of the Periyar. The committee is likely to issue notice to the municipality seeking its reply on why environment compensation should not be collected from it for its failure to comply with norms.

The State Pollution Control Board (PCB) had slapped a penalty of ₹2.47 crore as environment compensation on the local body in December for its failure to comply with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The follow-up action was necessitated after SLMC Chairman A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai, who had taken stock of the environment degradation of the Periyar during his visit here on December 18, expressed concerns over the increasing flow of untreated sewage into the river. According to PCB officials, Mr. Pillai reiterated that directives would now be issued to municipalities and other local bodies responsible for polluting the river to pay additional penalty.

The SLMC and the PCB had pulled up the municipal authorities on several occasions last year after they were found sitting on various recommendations made in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The inordinate delay in setting up a sewage treatment plant (STP) figured top among the pending projects. The plant has to be set up in accordance with the directives of the NGT that had asked local bodies to introduce scientific measures to treat sewage.

The NGT-appointed committee had remarked in June that the discharge of untreated sewage from Kalamassery township, waste water from Kalamassery market, and leachate from the civic body’s waste dumping yard at North Kalamassery had resulted in fish kill in the Periyar. It had asked the municipality to accord top priority to implementing the interim orders of the Kerala High Court on solid waste management by coming up with a detailed action plan.

Shiny Antony, chairperson of the health standing committee, Kalamassery Municipality, said tender proceedings would be initiated to carry out bio-mining of legacy waste at the dump site at North Kalamassery. “We have also finalised tender for setting up a sewage treatment plant at the market in this Plan period itself,” she said.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:48:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/municipality-comes-under-slmc-scanner/article30628740.ece

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