The Kerala Pollution Control Board (PCB) has taken exception to the inadequate and slow pace of preparations for waste management and pollution control at Sabarimala and Pampa during the coming Mandalam-Makaravilakku season.
In a letter to the PCB chairman, the district environmental engineer has stressed the need to ensure effective treatment of the huge quantity of sewage generated at Pampa, the Sannidhanam, and at the Nilackal base camp during the season.
The primary chemical treatment facility at the 15-year-old sewage treatment plant (STP) at Pampa is grossly inadequate to meet the requirement. Moreover, the existing STP provides only preliminary treatment and this has to be augmented with a new one having a capacity to treat five million litres per day.
The PCB is of the view that necessary steps should be taken to check the partially treated sewage collected in large holding pits overflowing into the Pampa.
Clothes in the Pampa
The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) is yet to take any effective measure to keep the Pampa clean of clothes thrown into it by pilgrims returning from Sabarimala. The TDB used to auction the right to collect the clothes in previous years. But no step has been taken in his regard so far. The Kerala High Court has made it clear that throwing clothes into the Pampa amounted to a criminal offence.
The PCB engineer has said the civil work of the STP at the Sannidhanam, tank cleaning, site clearance, equipment erection, erection of sewage pumps at various locations, electrification, etc, should be completed before October 20 so as to start stabilisaion activities before October 30.
At present, the sewage generated at the toilet complex adjoining the Valiya Nadappanthal is overflowing to reach the Pampa, the letter has said.
The PCB letter has stressed the need for safe handling and disposal of the e-waste dumped near the incinerator yard at the Sannidhanam.
The PCB has mooted a full-fledged STP at the Nilackal base camp also.