CHENNAI: Over the last six months, joggers on Akkarai Beach behind the VGP amusement park have been noticing wastewater from the park being drained out into the ocean.
When Express visited the spot, a stream of chlorinated water from the park could be seen discharging directly into the sea. The wastewater was flowing in a small stream on the beach and was partly absorbed by the sand. Besides this, a blue coloured pipe was found coming from the amusement park and letting out wastewater into the sea. It was found to be placed beneath the sand on the beach and was visible near the water. But its purpose was not known
An employee of the park said that in recent times chlorine water mixed with bleaching powder from wet rides and swimming pools was being let out into the sea as the park is located right next to the beach on the East Coast Road. “Most of the water from wet rides is recycled and pumped back. But a small portion is let out into the sea. This has been happening for quite some time now. But it is not sewage like most people think,” he added.
Arun R, who frequents the beach, noticed this issue ten days ago during his morning run. “As the stagnant water was a bit murky in nature I mistook it for raw sewage. I remember seeing this discharge for almost six months now. The sand around the small rivulet created by the discharge had turned black in colour too. This is a real danger to the environment that the authorities must put a stop to immediately,” added Arun.
According to Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board norms, any kind of waste disposal into the sea without seeking due permission from the concerned government bodies is illegal. An official from TNPCB said the board doesn’t give permission to any establishment along the coast to dispose even treated sewage or effluent of any kind into the sea. “Most amusement parks recycle close to 10,000 litres of chlorinated water a day and pump it back for use. But on the days when the footfall at a park is more than usual, around 2,000 litres is disposed and freshwater is replaced in its place to maintain hygiene. But it is against the norms to discard it into the sea. We will immediately look into the issue,” added the official.
When Express contacted management of VGP Universal Kingdom, they denied that such an issue is happening. “We recycle all the water used in our water rides and swimming pools. We do not let out any wastewater into the sea. We don’t need to discharge it in such a manner due to the advanced recycling system we have in place. We haven’t noticed any such developments in recent times,” said a member from the management.