A report by the Department of Environment and Climate Change submitted before the National Green Tribunal on the rising faecal contamination in Thevara-Perandoor and Edappally canals has exposed infrastructure gaps in the management of untreated wastewater in Kochi.
Several households located close to the canals lack even soak pits/septic tanks, and untreated sewage is being discharged into the waterbodies in violation of environmental norms. A sanitation survey by the health and engineering wings of the Kochi Corporation found that as many as 25 households close to the Thevara-Perandoor canal in Division 60 had no place to construct septic tanks/soak pits. In Division 59, the corresponding number was 18.
The survey in Division 63 revealed that 147 households in Udaya Colony near the Thevara-Perandoor canal had no space to construct septic tanks and soak pits. The situation was similar in households in P&T Colony. The government has proposed community model bio-digester projects under the AMRUT-2 project in regions with adequate space to set up such systems.
The survey found rampant wastewater discharge and waste dumping, including slaughter waste, into the Thevara-Perandoor canal from various sources in the Kadavanthra market. Notice has been issued to the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) to take remedial measures.
The inspections found that untreated wastewater was being drained into the canals from around 100 units including apartment complexes, hotels and restaurants, tourist homes, and godowns. The Corporation had imposed a penalty of ₹20.86 lakh on violators for illegal dumping of waste in public places and waterbodies over the last two years, according to the report.