KOCHI: What makes the picturesque Marine Drive in Kochi stink? If you thought it is due to the heaps of garbage on the walkway, you are wrong. Blame it on the sewage and garbage that flow from the residential and commercial buildings along the Marine Drive into the Vembanad lake, polluting the water body and spreading unbearable stench.
A report filed by the amicus curiae appointed by the High Court to ascertain the Marine Drive beautification work reveals its sorry plight and the environmental hazard and threat to public posed by the dumping.
In his report, Liju V Stephen said as many as 54 buildings were given sanction under the Master Plan of Cochin Marine Drive Scheme, which includes commercial and residential buildings. The amicus curiae inspected many of them. It was found there are no proper and adequate measures for sewage disposal in most of them.
As per norms, every building must have its own sewage treatment plant (STP), but as of now, only nine are using the STP facility provided by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA).
“On inspection of certain apartments near the Chinese fishing net bridge, it was found that there’s neither any functional STP nor are they availing the facility provided by the GCDA. Hence, the only option available to them is to drain the sewage into the lake.
Large concrete and other pipes are protruding into the lake at various spots of the walkway. The foul smell of toilet waste is emanating from the lake especially in the old walkway area near the Chinese fishing net bridge,” stated the report.
A thorough inspection by the Pollution Control Board as well as the GCDA and Kochi corporation authorities is needed to identify the buildings that drain sewage into the lake.
The dumping will also keep the local and foreign tourists away from the Marine Drive, it said. Safety of people who use the walkway has to be ensured by constant police surveillance and installation of CCTV cameras all along the walkway. Surveillance is necessary to thwart anti-social activities and ensure public safety as well.
There are five entries to the walkway, but only two CCTV cameras are installed. The High Court’s directive to install CCTV cameras all along the walkway has not been complied with.
IN THE REPORT
No proper and adequate measures for sewage disposal in most of the buildings at Marine Drive
Large concrete and other pipes are protruding into the Vembanad lake