CHENNAI: Besides effluents from industries which have been contaminating the ocean and soil for many decades, it is now untreated sewage being let into the sea at Kasimedu beach. When Express visited one such spot along Kasimedu rock beach near Cherian Nagar, sewage could be seen gushing out in large volumes from a big pipe placed under the road. The black liquid let a foul odour similar to raw sewage.
Local fishermen said before the harbour was built, sewage was similarly let into sea near Power Kuppam, two kilometres away. They also added that the same thing was happening at Tiruvottriyur too. "This has been happening for many years now. We are fed up complaining to the authorities. As Royapuram sewage pumping station does not have the capacity to treat the sewage generated, most of it is let into sea directly like this. At Kathivakkam, tankers empty raw sewage into the sea," said Soundar A, a fishermen leader. Other fishermen attributed the loss of marine life in shallow waters to constant mixing of sewage into the sea.
"Earlier, we used to catch smaller fish just one or two miles into the sea. Now, we have to travel much deeper. Sewage has either killed all fish near the shore or chased them away. Fish are not available even near Powerkuppam. The effect of this is long-lasting even if sewage inflow is stopped," said Veeramani.
An official from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board said whether sewage or any other liquid is treated or not, no organisation is allowed to discharge it into the sea.
"A decade ago, we used to give permission for disposal of treated effluents into the sea. But, that is not the case anymore. We will look into this issue," the official said.A senior Metro Water official said they were not aware of this problem before. "It could be surplus sewage coming from pumping station or residents, who do not have sewerage connections, could be letting it out this way causing this serious issue. We will plug this by next week once we identify the source," the official said.