Waterlogging heightens hostility towards STP in Kozhikode

Banner put up by protesters against the proposed STP project at Avikkalthodu in Kozhikode.

Banner put up by protesters against the proposed STP project at Avikkalthodu in Kozhikode. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

A large number of houses on the banks of Avikkalthodu in Kozhikode city were flooded following heavy rains on Friday, further intensifying local residents’ hostility towards the proposed sewage treatment plant (STP) of the Kozhikode Corporation. They alleged that the partial filling of the mouth of the canal to prepare ground for the STP was the reason for flooding.

Avikkalthodu, which opens into the Arabian Sea, caters for four wards of the corporation. The mouth of the canal is wider than the body but partially blocked by landfilling, which, local residents alleged, was part of the corporation’s “grand scheme to cause discomfort to them” in the form of the STP.

“There is not enough space for all this water to flow out into the sea and hence the flooding,” said T. Dawood, chairman of the local protest committee. He added that the opening of the canal was a wetland, and that all issues pertaining to Avikkalthodu would be solved once it is put back into its original form.

The committee claimed that waterlogging at Avikkal started just three years ago, and that the region was unaffected even during the 2018 floods. “If this is the situation when we have a few hours of rain, we fear what will happen during the monsoon,” Mr. Dawood added.

On the other hand, the corporation is standing firm on the need to construct the STP at the proposed site, as the canal is too polluted owing to waste dumping and sewage pipelines opening into it. “We have nothing against the residents. The STP project will not have obtained the required clearances if it was not environment-friendly,” said S. Jayasree, health standing committee chairperson of the corporation. She added that there was no point in seeking temporary solutions to the issue at Avikkal, and that it needed a comprehensive project, of which the STP is a part.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 6:13:54 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/waterlogging-heightens-hostility-towards-stp/article65443419.ece