CSEZ ripped off for discharge of untreated wastewater

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has issued an advisory to the Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) citing the discharge of untreated sewage from its industrial units resulting in the pollution of Chitrapuzha and Kadambrayar.

A report prepared by the Kadambrayar Pollution Council and submitted to the Assembly Environment Committee stated that the joint effluent treatment plant at CSEZ is not functioning properly.

A surprise inspection carried out by the council on January 20 revealed that partially treated sewage is being discharged into a drain inside the premises of the area.

This exit leads to Thuthiyoor drain, which is connected to Chitrapuzha. Partially treated wastewater samples were taken from the CSEZ as part of the inspection.

According to the report submitted to the Assembly’s Environment Committee, the joint CSEZ effluent treatment plant has a processing capacity of 1.6 million liters of wastewater per day. Currently, industrial units generate approximately 1,490 kilo liters per day of wastewater.

The council said it would take legal action against CSEZ authorities if the shortcomings of the joint effluent treatment plant are not addressed. A senior CSEZ official said steps have been taken to address the shortcomings and a response has been provided to the board.

The Central Pollution Control Board had included Chitrapuzha and Kadambrayar among the state’s 21 severely polluted water bodies.

Chitrapuzha passes through the Ambalamedu region and joins Kadambrayar near Brahmapuram. It then flows south and joins Vembanad Lake at the Thevara ferry.

Five drains have been identified as joining the polluted section. They included drain joining Chitrapuzha near Brahmapuram yard, drain from Kochi refinery area, Athikkayi branch, drain joining Chitrapuzha from Cochin Special Economic Zone and Vettuvelikkadavu (Konothupuzha joining Chitrapuzha).

The council had submitted a report to the National Green Tribunal in March last year that some settlements were discharging untreated or partially treated effluent into the drain leading to the Kadammbrayar.

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