CHENNAI: The Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) taking multiple cases of illegal sewage connections to the Stormwater Drains (SWDs) in the city has directed the State departments to finish the SWD projects before the Northeast monsoon and simultaneously take steps to remove encroachments.
The bench comprising Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana and expert member Satyagopal Korlapati taking suo motu of news reports directed the Tamil Nadu departments to follow the directions already given by Principal Bench, New Delhi in 2018.
Subsequently, the Tribunal urged Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT) and Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) to complete the project and make arrangements before the upcoming monsoon.
Furthermore, the Public Works Department (PWD) and Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB) were also directed to corporate in the removal of encroachments along the Buckingham canal and enable CMWSSB to complete the project as funds have already been sanctioned.
Additionally, the Tribunal noting that physical removal of water hyacinths does not work well, suggested the Tamil Nadu government to use bio-enzymes in lakes and rivers that will not only curb the growth of hyacinths, but also will not affect the aquatic life in the water bodies.
However, in case the technology requires further field testing prior to upscaling or if there is any difficulty in acquiring the technology, the Tribunal suggested CRRT to explore the possibility of water hyacinths conversion into organic fertiliser or utilise the water hyacinths for production of bio-gas, disposable gas and more.