NGT forms teams to inspect sewage discharge

Committees to look into letting drainage water into Veerangal canal, and plastics waste dumping into Porur lake.
NGT forms teams to inspect sewage discharge
File Photo

Chennai

Observing that no one is entitled to discharge the untreated sewage water into the public drain, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) formed a committee to look into the stagnation of drainage water in Veerangal canal in Velachery.
Judicial member Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta made the observation while hearing a suo motu based on a new report alleging that public drain in Veerangal that was intended to carry the excess water from Velachery tank was being used as a sewage drain.
The report alleged that poisonous gases were emanating from the stagnated water causing a serious health hazard.
Appointing a joint committee comprising Chennai Collector, Corporation Commissioner, Superintending Engineer, Water Resources Organisation of PWD and officials from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to inspect the area, the bench directed the committee to trace the violators and submit a report in one month. The committee was also directed to prepare an action plan to remedy the situation.
In a similar issue, taking suo moto based on a media report alleging that Porur lake has become a dumping ground, especially for plastics waste, the bench said, “It is seen from the photograph that cattle are grazing in that area and eating the plastics, which is likely to affect the health of the cattle as well as affects the food chain.”
It is the duty of State government and local authorities to maintain the waterbodies which would provide a better ecosystem along with water sustenance and enable water recharge facility improving the groundwater level in the locality, the bench noted.
Observing that local bodies were not paying much attention in protecting the waterbodies, the bench said, “Under the Solid Waste Management Rule, 2016, the authorities have got a responsibility to ensure day to day collection from the residents and segregate the same at source and recycle wherever possible and thereafter dispose of remaining waste in a scientific manner. They are failing in their duty in this regard as well.”
The tribunal formed a committee comprising Tiruvallur Collector, Corporation Commissioner, and Superintending Engineer, Water Resource Organisation of PWD to inspect the area and submit a status as well as action report.
If there any violation is detected, the committee should find out the persons responsible and initiate prosecution and impose environmental compensation, the bench said.
WRD proposes restoration of lakes in Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Vellore
The Water Resources Department (WRD) has submitted a proposal to restore and improve water storage in six lakes across three districts in the State at an estimated cost of Rs 298.38 crore.
“We have proposed to restore six lakes in Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Vellore. The main purpose for the proposal is to improve the water storage during the northeast monsoon and prevent seawater intrusion in coastal areas. 
Another important purpose of restoring these waterbodies is that they would be used to meet drinking water requirement,” said K Asokan, Chief Engineer, WRD.
“After the restoration of lakes, they would have an extra capacity of 2,800 million cubic feet (mcft),” added the official. At present, the total capacity of all the six water bodies is about 900 – 1,000 mcft.
The department is ready to begin the work as soon as the clearance is received from the State government, said the official.
“We are also planning to use this work to increase the water capacity up to 30 per cent and save the excess rainwater from draining into the sea. Instead of desilting the lakes, we would increase the height of the bund and weir, which would allow the storage to be increased by three feet,” said Asokan.

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