STP work at West Kochi to go ahead despite protests

The work of the proposed sewage treatment plant (STP) for West Kochi will go ahead despite the local resistance to the project, Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), the agency implementing the project, has said.

The State authorities have asked the CSML to take the project forward. Soil samples were collected from the site for soil testing. The construction of the temporary compound wall of the site was completed. The mission is taking steps to implement the project at the site allotted by the Kochi Corporation, CSML sources said.

Incidentally, the resistance to the project has intensified with protest marches being taken out to the proposed site.

The plant with an installed capacity of treating 6.5-million-litre-per-day has been proposed at a 45-cent holding near the Kalvathy canal.

The ₹166-crore plant has been mooted to scientifically treat sewage in the Smart City project area in the divisions 1 to 5 of the Kochi Corporation.

T. K. Ashraf, chairman of the Health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation, wrote to the civic administration asking the authorities to intervene in the issue and stop the work.

The project has been proposed at a site, which was close to a busy commercial area. There were a few schools, hospital and several commercial establishments in the area. The project should not be implemented at the site as the local body had not issued the permission for setting up the plant there, he said.

He suggested that the project should be shifted to a nearby site, where the medical care facility of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation once functioned. The now unoccupied site was ideal for the project and the authorities should respect the sentiments of the local population, he said.

At the same time, the CSML authorities maintained that the apprehensions of the local residents were baseless as the project posed no pollution risk. Similar plants were functioning in busy cities elsewhere. The mission had carried out extensive outreach programmes and awareness sessions for the stakeholders, including the councillors and clarified their doubts, they said.

An earlier attempt to set up a plant in West Kochi under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission did not succeed.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 7:49:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/stp-work-at-west-kochi-to-go-ahead-despite-protests/article36638734.ece

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