Sewer network to be extended

Currently, the sewer network covers only 43 corporation divisions.

Published: 22nd September 2021 06:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2021 06:47 AM   |  A+A-

Karmana river, one of the most polluted rivers in the state | B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sewer network to be expanded from 43 wards of the corporation now to all hundred wards.DPR for sewer lines in 19 wards on either side of the river is expected to be ready by month-end.The whole project will cost `5,000 crore

To mitigate pollution of the Karamana river, which is listed as the most polluted among the 21 rivers in the state, the sewerage in all 100 wards in the corporation area will soon be extended. The state government has sanctioned Rs 8 crore under the Rebuild Kerala initiative to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the same.

Currently, the sewer network covers only 43 corporation divisions. According to official sources, the DPR for laying sewage lines in the 19 wards bordering the river would be ready by this month-end. The project to establish the sewer network in the 19 wards alone is estimated to cost around Rs 1,000 crore. The entire project is roughly estimated at around Rs 5,000 crore. 

Given the heavy pollution of the river, the National Green Tribunal had pulled up the state government and summoned the chief secretary to come up with a comprehensive action plan to conserve the 65-kilometre-long river stretch. In 2017, NGT had issued an order based on the complaint raised by the Edayar Residents Association and directed the Pollution Control Board to make a layout of the hotspots where the sewage was being discharged into the river. 

Following this, an action plan was prepared for pollution abatement. Lack of upgraded sewer lines and sewerage connectivity is cited as the primary cause of pollution happening to the river. Though the 107-MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) was established at Muttathara in the capital, the plant caters partially or fully to only 43 wards under the corporation. Currently, the plant is treating 55-60-MLD daily.  A senior official of the sewerage wing of Kerala Water Authority (KWA) said the DPR for laying the sewer network for 19 wards would be ready by this month-end. KWA roped in an agency to prepare the DPR around five months ago. 

“The DPR for establishing the network for 57 wards is being drawn up. As per the chief secretary’s direction, we are giving top priority to the 19 wards bordering the Karamana and Killiyar rivers and a separate DPR is being prepared for them. The project is roughly estimated to cost around Rs 1,000 crore and the government will have to come up with a plan to fund the project which would be done only after getting the DPR,” said the official, adding that the DPR for the 57 wards will be done by December.

Karamana and its pollution graph

66km -long river stretches from the Western Ghats to Agastyar Koodam

22km passes via Thiruvananthapuram Corporation areas
Only 30% of households, establishments are covered by sewerage 
Pollution in Karamana river and Killiyar is due to the discharge of effluents, domestic waste, dumping 
of solid waste and biomedical waste
The total coliform count in the Karamana river varies from  39,000 to 53,000 in the city area and faecal coliform count varies from 5,000 to 18,800 in the city area

Short-term recommendations 
Provide household latrines, community latrines, solid waste management, non-biodegradable waste management, liquid waste management, awareness 
Long-term recommendations
Connecting sewers to Sewage Treatment Plant at Muttathara

The primary reason for the pollution of the Karamana river is the discharge of untreated sewage and greywater from the houses near the river and Killiyar — the main tributary passing through Thiruvanan-thapuram city. As per a sanitation survey carried out by the authorities in 45 wards, a majority of the households on the banks of the Karamana river and Killiyar lack sewage treatment facilities. In addition to around 9,500 independent houses, there are around 32 flat complexes and 706 establishments in the buffer region of both rivers.


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