Kerala

Water contamination high in Alappuzha

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Lorries are discharging 25 lakh litres of waste water into waterbodies daily

With hardly any measures in place to prevent dumping of septage in waterbodies and other places, water contamination has touched worrying levels in the district.

According to a study carried out by the Alappuzha unit of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), private tanker lorries are discharging a whopping 25 lakh litres of waste water on a daily basis in different parts of the district including in waterbodies, in the absence of proper septage waste management systems in place.

This, according to the report, has polluted groundwater and waterbodies with bacteriological contamination.

The presence of high levels of coliform bacteria was found even in drinking water sources of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA).

The total coliform count in water collected from Thycattussery was 9,000/ 100 ml, whereas fecal coliform stood at 5,500 in September 2019.

The situation is not much different in other KWA water sources including Kadapra, Edappon and so on.

Vembanad Lake

“Discharging of septic waste is rampant across the district. Almost all the waterbodies in the district including Vembanad Lake, rivers and canals are highly contaminated. Of the total wells in the district, 93 % are contaminated mainly with fecal matters,” Biju. B, Environmental Engineer, KSPCB told The Hindu.

Although, it is mandatory for civic bodies to set up Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and Fecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) for scientific treatment of waste, none of the six municipalities in the district have made any efforts to construct it, leaving the water bodies to bear the brunt.

“As per orders of the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal, it is mandatory for municipalities to construct STPs and FSTPs and treat waste generated in their respective limits. However, civic bodies in the district are making a mockery of the apex court’s order. As their actions amount to contempt of court and adversely affect the health of the people, the PCB has recently submitted a report to the district judge recommending action against municipalities,” Mr. Biju said.

Meanwhile, a sewage treatment plant operated by the District Tourism Promotion Council for houseboats registered in Alappuzha remains dysfunctional.

The plant was closed a few months ago after the PCB found fault with its functioning. It is resulting in several houseboats dumping waste into the lake.

Night patrolling

District Police Chief K.M. Tomy said that night patrolling would be intensified to prevent dumping of toilet waste in waterbodies. “We are taking stringent measures against those who dump septic waste. A number of lorry drivers have been caught and booked in recent days,” Mr. Tomy said.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 3:55:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/water-contamination-high-in-alappuzha/article30000443.ece

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