Residential building along Konothupuzha demolished

A residential building that was constructed by encroaching upon the Konothupuzha in Amballoor grama panchayat has been demolished.

The action forms part of the stringent directive issued by the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal to initiate immediate measures to save the river from pollution and encroachment.

The 17-km-long Konothupuzha lies between the Champakkara canal and the Vembanad lake and runs through the Thripunithura Municipality, and Chottanikkara, Mulanthuruthy, Udayamperoor and Amballoor grama panchayats.

The officials of the civic body said that the residential building had come up on 14 cents close to the riverside. It was illegal as the area was demarcated as ‘puzha puramboke’ (river puramboke). The person who was responsible for the encroachment knew that it was an illegal act, they said.

In its affidavit submitted before the tribunal, the Secretary of the Amballoor grama panchayat said that a survey by the Revenue Department had found one encroachment by the riverside. The building was demolished after issuing notice to those responsible for the illegal act, it said.

Periodic inspections

The panchayat authorities informed the tribunal that they are organising periodic inspections along the riverside to prevent dumping of waste and sewage into the waterbody.

A samithi involving members of the public and representatives of the panchayat has been carrying out surprise visits at various spots to check illegal dumping.

The survey by the Revenue Department had found nearly 21 cases of encroachment of the riverbank along the stretch coming under the Thripunitura Municipality. It had also reported three encroachments of the riverbank in Mulanthuruthy, while one case was reported on the stretch coming under the jurisdiction of Chottanikkara panchayat.

The State Pollution Control Board had found 10 establishments, including high-rises and vehicle service stations, discharging wastewater into the Konothupuzha in violation of norms.

The gaps in the sewage management system were revealed after the analysis of water samples revealed higher levels of total coliform count, indicating faecal contamination.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 1:45:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/residential-building-along-konothupuzha-demolished/article38262159.ece