Shut down farms that threaten health, environment: panel

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed that all types of animal farms that are functioning without the permission of the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) and pose a threat to public health and the environment be closed down.

Commission member Reni Antony on Wednesday issued the direction to the Chief Secretary, State Police Chief, and local self-government secretary.

The commission also directed the local self-government secretary, Kollam District Collector, and the Melila grama panchayat secretary, to take steps to close the Upasana dairy farm in Melila grama panchayat immediately, since it was functioning illegally. It also directed that steps be taken to address the difficulties faced by the local people owing to pollution from the farm.

The commission was acting on a petition from Binu George, coordinator, Childline sub-centre, Kollam, that the Upasana dairy farm in seventh ward of Melila was functioning illegally and unscientifically. Owing to the odour from the farm and the menace posed by insects such as flies and mosquitoes, people, especially children, were not even able to eat food, and this was affecting the children’s health adversely.

The local self-government secretary’s report to the commission said the problem of odour from the farm and menace posed by flies was a reality. There was very little distance between the farm and houses nearby. The PCB had cancelled the licence of the farm. The panchayats deputy director had directed that action be taken against the farm, as it continued to operate in unhygienic conditions.

The Collector’s report said the excreta from the animals at the dairy farm was responsible for the odour and flies in the area. Waste water had collected around the site of the farm. There were many houses located within a distance of 50 m from the farm. Nearly 15 children of various ages, including babies, lived in these houses, and in the absence of proper waste management, waste water, and excreta from the farm, would adversely affect their health.

The commission observed that protection of children’s health and safety was the responsibility of society. Allowing farms that created environmental and health problems to function would be a violation of environmental protection laws and those protecting children’s rights.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 6:08:00 pm |