KOCHI: People planning to visit the Marine Drive walkway this Valentine’s Day, or any day after that, should probably invest in a gas mask first.
For, the sewage from nearby apartments is flowing on the walkway, letting off an unbearable stench that is causing indescribable hardship to morning walkers and evening visitors alike. On Thursday, too, a pool of sewage troubled visitors.
In January, the High Court had ordered that sewage from nearby apartments should not be drained into the lake at Marine Drive and had instructed the corporation to devise a permanent system for draining the sewage. The corporation had then closed the underground sewage pipes from the apartments that emptied into the lake.
“The sewage is being generated from a well-known apartment complex and a commercial building. Those who visit the walkway for a morning walk have to endure the foul smell emanating from the sewage. The walkway, where thousands of tourists visit, is getting dirty and unhygienic,” said Ranjit G Thampi, who had filed a petition earlier seeking contempt of court proceedings against the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) and the corporation for delaying the implementation of the court’s order on ensuring the walkway was clean.
Though the GCDA had filed an affidavit in the court saying that tiling and some other works were done at the walkway for `90,000, the residents alleged that no major works had been carried out.
“The tiling works were not done properly. There have been several incidents of people falling and getting injured due to this. Many people walk on the walkway without slippers. Now, they have to walk over the sewage water which will cause serious health issues. Also, without proper lighting and CCTV cameras, anti-social elements are having free run in the area,” said Ranjit.
The residents alleged that the corporation too had not taken any steps to resolve the sewage issue. “I have seen sewage being pumped from my apartment building into the canal at Shanmugham road. There’s no proper disposal,” alleged a resident who lives in one of the apartments at Marine Drive.
Meanwhile, Ranjit has filed a reply to the GCDA’s affidavit and the court will hear the case on Friday. “I hope the court seriously takes up the sewage issue,” he said.
“Currently, we don’t have a sewer network at Marine Drive. Treating the sewage will be a bit difficult until the network is established. We had informed the court about this. Apartments at Marine Drive have a sewage treatment plant there and we have asked them to treat the waste there for the time being,” said corporation secretary R S Anu.