A joint checking drive with the support of various government departments and local self-government institutions is under way in Kozhikode district to track those recklessly dumping waste into rivers or covertly engaging in activities resulting in water contamination. Officials from the Pollution Control Board are supervising the drive, which will also ensure prompt action on various confidential complaints received from the public.
It is the frequent complaints from various environmental organisations and the study reports featuring the increasing presence of disease-causing organisms that prompted the district administration to intensify action in the area. Efforts are on to enlist the support of various residents’ forums, students’ clubs and social service organisations to identify the frequently polluted stretches of rivers and improve the local surveillance mechanism in the area to track the miscreants.
The helpline (04952374737) may be used to exchange confidential information with district-level authorities coordinating the drive. Complaints related to such polluting attempts can also be communicated to the local body secretaries concerned or the Revenue department authorities.
The checking squad has already tracked a trader who allegedly let septic waste from his shop into the Poonoor river. He has been slapped a fine of ₹1 lakh by the Koduvally municipal authorities to compound the offence. The shop will be allowed to function again only after getting clearance from the Pollution Control Board.
Action against polluters
Apart from slapping hefty fines, action will be initiated against the polluters under various sections of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981. In case of frequent offences, such persons will be charged under other serious sections of the Disaster Management Act.
Decisions have been taken to track all suspicious vehicles used for collection of septage from various locations and illegal dumping into rivers. Those hiring the service of such illegal agencies will be held accountable for the offences. Local bodies have been instructed to take note of such attempts seriously and act without fall. They have also been asked to find viable solution to ensure the scientific treatment of septage.