NGT asks Collector to conduct survey of Konothupuzha to identify encroachments

The ecosystem of Konothupuzha has been severely affected by unchecked pollution and encroachment.

The ecosystem of Konothupuzha has been severely affected by unchecked pollution and encroachment. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked Ernakulam District Collector to conduct a survey of the entire stretch of Konothupuzha to identify encroachments.

The survey has to be carried out by Tashildar (Land Records) as there was an allegation that the entire stretch of the river along the Thripunitura Municipality has not been properly surveyed to address the issue of encroachment, said the order issued by the Southern Bench of the tribunal in the case related to the ecosystem of the river getting affected by unchecked pollution and encroachment.

Action has to be taken to restore the width of the river in its original condition, if further encroachment or unauthorised constructions are detected, it said.

The secretaries of the local bodies along the 17-km-long river had submitted reports that they had taken action against encroachment. However, the tribunal has recommended further investigation by Revenue officials to ascertain the actual extent of encroachment.

The Bench asked the Public Works department/Irrigation department not to construct any bridges or sluices across the river in such a way as to encroach into the waterbody and affect the free flow of water. The authorities should ensure that the carrying capacity of the river is not reduced.

The department should also provide additional vents in the existing bridges to ensure free flow of the river. Instead of creating sand mounds to prevent seawater intrusion, the Irrigation department should examine the possibility of constructing tail-end regulators, subject to Coastal Regulation Zone regulations so that climate resilience can be enhanced, according to the order.

The department should prepare a detailed project report for carrying out modifications to the existing bridges and provide additional vents along with installing the tail-end regulators. It should be submitted before the government within six months, it said.

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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 3:56:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ngt-asks-collector-to-conduct-survey-of-konothupuzha-to-identify-encroachments/article65422836.ece