The residents around the Sarovaram Biopark and Kottooly Wetlands are gearing up to strengthen their protest against the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) coming up in the plot next to the park which is at present under the Kerala Water Authority.
The Sarovaram Biopark-Kottooly Wetlands Connolly Canal protection committee has petitioned the Mayor and the newly elected Corporation Council of Kozhikode to take necessary steps to shift the plant from the site as it could lead to severe environmental hazards and disrupt the peaceful ecosystem of one of the notified wetlands of the State.
The Sarovaram Biopark was set up in 2005 to protect the Kottooly wetlands and has been attracting tourists, morning walkers and fitness freaks ever since. The wetland houses around 9 species of mangroves besides various organisms.
The Connolly canal, built as a waterway back in the British era, passes alongside the wetlands. But the canal is now more a huge drainage than a waterway.
The proposed STP is expected to treat the liquid waste in the city that includes toilet waste. At first, the plan was to build it in 13 acres of land within the wetland, but with the severe outcry against it from the public as well as a High Court order, it was decided that the plant will be shifted out of the wetland. But ironically, the site now identified for the plant also comes under the same survey number as the wetlands, and this has forced the public to raise their voice once again.
Bijuraj T.C, the newly elected councillor of Eranhipalam ward, is in the forefront of the protest.
“We are apprehensive about the quality of water that would come out of the plant, which would then be released into the Connolly canal.
The sledge produced is definitely going to smell very bad. We are afraid that it would affect the quality of the water in the wetland,” Mr.Bijuraj said.
The STP is being built under the aegis of the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project and Kerala Water Authority is the nodal agency.
Hence, it is up to the State government to make any decisions, Mr.Bijuraj added.
The works of the STP has already begun in the 2.6 acres of land within the KWA compound.