Plan to prevent marine pollution in TN on cards
CHENNAI: Since discharging of untreated sewage into the sea degrades coastal stretches apart from polluting the seawater, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has decided to prepare an action plan for rejuvenation of coastal stretches.
According to a document, the pollution control board will engage the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) to prepare the action plan.
Moreover, the TNPCB has requested the state government to grant permission to prepare the ‘time bound comprehensive action plan to mitigate coastal and marine pollution along the Tamil Nadu coast’ at around Rs 50 lakh.
The TNPCB has also instructed the field officers and district collectors of the concerned coastal districts to form district level committees and to prepare district environmental plans for marine pollution. The district plans will be included in the action plan. The district level committees have been given power to stop sewage or industrial discharges into the coastal or marine system.
The document said that all the local bodies in the state have been instructed to provide adequate treatment systems for sewage treatment and disposal.
Meanwhile, a seawater quality assessment report released by the NCCR in 2018 pointed out that the microbial indicators suggest that overall water quality of the Indian coast has deteriorated.
“Especially, stations from Tamil Nadu coast (Ennore, Puducherry and Thoothukudi) showed extremely high number of total coliform, faecal coliform, Escherichia Coli and Streptococcus faecalis when compared to the other locations. The increase in faecal bacteria could be associated with the increasing nutrient load, “ the report had said.
The report suggested immediate action to control direct discharge of domestic sewage, which is the main source of faecal contamination.
Ironically, the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metro Water) has to add sewage treatment plants (STP) for a total capacity of 476 million litres per day (MLD) considering the future growth of sewage generation and phasing out of old STPs.
Estimated present sewage generation in the city is around 740 MLD but the Metro Water could only treat around 600 MLD.
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