TNIE Impact: Illegal seafood preprocessing units closed and power supply snapped 

Residents of Gomezpuram thanked Parliamentarian Kanimozhi Karunanidhi for inspecting the site along with the officials and instructing them to take necessary actions against the erring units.
Representational image
Representational image

THOOTHUKUDI: Three seafood preprocessing units, which were operated illegally without proper licenses and Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), have been closed and the power supply has been disconnected. Residents of Gomezpuram thanked Parliamentarian Kanimozhi Karunanidhi for inspecting the site along with the officials and instructing them to take necessary actions against the erring units.

An official inspection conducted by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCBd), based on a recent TNIE report, exposed that three private seafood preprocessing units were together discharging 15,500 KLD (Kilo Litre per Day) of untreated trade effluent into the nearby stream, Uppar Odai, which turned pink. The units had not obtained Consent to Operate (CTO) and had not installed the mandatory ETP for treating the wastewater, despite a notice being served a month ago.

Based on the report, the TNPCBd had issued an official proceeding for the closure of the three suspected units, and another proceeding was sent to TANGEDCO for the disconnection of the power supply, said a senior TNPCBd official.

An official said the three units have been instructed to install the ETP alongside an RO plant respectively. "They will be given CTO only after the installation of ETP," the official added.

The three units located along the Uppar Odai near at Periyapalam bridge at Gomezpuram of Keela Arasaradi village engaged in peeling and removing the outer shells, and deveining seafood like crabs, and prawns. The seafood, after preprocessing, is packed for export purposes. These units, which fall under the orange category of industries, were found to produce 14.5 tonnes of seafood in total in a day.
 
It may be noted that the alleged colour change of water in this Uppar Odai to pink by the trade effluent of seafood processing units is a recurring incident. The seafood preprocessing units also discharged the waste into a pond at Rajapalayam here, which turned pink a few months ago.

The region is a major cluster of salt producers. Releasing the trade effluent into the water bodies has worried the public and activists as it contaminates the salt pans. Also, the Uppar Odai, which has mangroves, merges into the ecologically sensitive Gulf of Mannar at Siluvaipatti beach. The Uppar Odai has no fish due to the release of untreated effluent, the locals complained.

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