Kerala government mulls severe punishment for agents of water pollution
The state government on Monday signalled its intentions to zero in on agents of pollution in water resources.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/IDUKKI: Better late than never. The state government on Monday signalled its intentions to zero in on agents of pollution in water resources - just two days after Express had highlighted the pathetic quality of water available even as Kerala is getting ready to pronounce itself Open Defecation Free (ODF) by March 31.
While the Pollution Control Board and Revenue Department officers swooped down on a private resort in Chinnakkanal, Idukki, for allegedly diverting sewage into a potable water source, Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas stressed his department has proposed amendments to the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act, 2003, to make punishments more severe. He said the government is planning to have harsher measures in place to discourage people from polluting rivers and water bodies.
‘’The amendments are not just intended to check the flushing of sewage into rivers, but all types of contamination. Now, the punishments are not that severe. The Law Department’s proposals are awaited,’’ Thomas said. The minister said recommendations in this regard have been transferred to the Law Department. While increasing the penalties, the government is also planning to encourage better awareness about the dangers of water pollution. ‘’We also plan to launch initiatives to create better ‘water literacy’,’’ he said.
Officers from the Pollution Control Board and the Revenue Department on Monday conducted a primary inspection at Club Mahindra Lake View Resorts in Chinnakkanal on the basis of a complaint filed by the manager of Tata Global Beverages Limited, Periakanal Tea Estate, Munnar.
The site visit and inspection followed the complaint going viral on social media. According to the complainant, the resort was diverting sewage into a natural stream, a potable water resource for the residents of the nearby Muthamma Colony. Besides, the stream later joins the reservoir at Anayirankal dam.
Devikulam Sub-collector Sriram told ‘Express’ a detailed investigation would be conducted on the basis of the complaint.
“An engineer from PCB and officers from the Revenue department conducted a primary inspection on the spot and collected samples,” he said.