In a significant development that will make environmentalists and residents happy, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Kerala Assembly has recommended that autorickshaws plying in the city should mandatorily switch to LNG as fuel.
PAC chairman T M Thomas Isaac MLA told reporters at the Civil Station here on Wednesday that Kochi has been chosen for the ambitious project in the first stage because of its significance as the largest and busiest city in the state. He was talking to reporters after a sitting of the PAC to evaluate the effectiveness of the PAC recommendations in the functioning of the Department of Environment.
“Ideally all cities in the state should switch to LNG. In the first stage, we have recommended Kochi because of it’s importance as the busiest urban centre in the state”, Isaac said.
It was pointed out that the high density of vehicles and increasing construction activities are resulting in a rapid increase in pollution levels in Kochi. The presence of several industrial establishments that are not sticking to the mandatory standards is also raising pollution levels. Added to this, the usage of petrol and diesel as fuel is accelerating the problem, he said. In another major development, the PAC has outlined an action plan to protect the rivers and other water bodies in the district.
According to the officials, the scheme will be modelled on the basis of the Ganga Action Plan. The PAC is expecting to get assistance from several government departments, universities and civil society groups for the preparation of the action plan. The committee members stated that delay in the development of the action plan will adversely affect the health of the water bodies.
PCB officials said that the dumping of waste, including septic waste, is polluting the water bodies.