Kerala

Barge to collect houseboat waste

The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has deployed a specialised boat (sewage barge) for collecting septage from houseboats in Alappuzha.

Lijo Abraham, secretary, DTPC said the mobile unit would be able to collect septage from about 10 houseboats daily.

"As a pilot process, sewage from 10 houseboats were removed last week. Following this, regular operations were launched on Monday. The barge, which belongs to the Tourism Department, is currently operated by the Kottayam DTPC.

It will visit the Houseboat terminal at Punnamada Finishing Point and collect waste from vessels.

The waste collected will be treated at a sewage treatment plant of the Kottayam DTPC," Mr. Abraham said.

₹2,360 per boat

The DTPC charges ₹2,360 per boat for the process.

It is mandatory for all houseboats to empty septage at a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) every three months inorder to renew the annual license for operation. Houseboat operators in the district have found themselves in a fix after the STP at H-Block (Kunnumma), operated by the DTPC, was closed in 2019.

The plant was shut after the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) found flaws in its functioning and rejected an application submitted by the DTPC for renewing its licence. In the absence of a functional waste treatment plant, majority of the boats have been discharging wastewater directly into Vembanad Lake, a designated Ramsar site, and rivers. Mr. Abraham, meanwhile, said the upgradation of the treatment plant at H-Block was under way and it would be opened soon.

Complaints

“There have been complaints of houseboats dumping waste into the water. The sewage barge is expected to help improve the waste management system in houseboats.

We hope a large number of houseboat operators will make use of the facility. In the meantime, the work on the plant at H- Block is progressing and we hope to open it by February end,” the DTPC secretary said.


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 1:52:38 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/barge-to-collect-houseboat-waste/article38320764.ece