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Waste dumping detected near Konothupuzha

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The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) has found illegal waste dumping in six spots near the banks of the Konothupuzha river.

They include Nadakkavu – Mulamthuruthy bridge (Udayamperoor panchayat), Mankkumbel (Udayamperoor panchayat), Puthiyakavu Kureekad bridge, Andhakarathodu bridge, Karingachira thodu, and Aliyar bridge (all under Thripunithura Municipality).

The inspection was carried out in association with the petitioners who had lodged a complaint before the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal against pollution and encroachment on the river. Konothupuzha passes through Thripunithura Municipality, Chottanikkara, Udayamperoor, Mulamthuruthy and Amballoor grama panchayats, covering a distance of nearly 17 km before joining the Vembanad lake at Poothotta.

The inspection team met Haritha Karma Sena members at Udayamperoor, who informed the team that they were removing waste on a regular basis from various sites. But it is still being dumped in several areas. The board has issued instructions to the local bodies concerned to set up squads and remove the dumped waste periodically, especially from sites where waste was seen dumped repeatedly.

The secretaries of the civic bodies have to impose spot fine on persons found dumping waste at public places. Legal action has to be initiated against violators. The civic bodies should also conduct awareness programmes against dumping of waste in public places and road sides in areas under its jurisdiction. The local bodies need to implement 100% door-to-door collection of solid waste and dispose it in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 after collecting user fee from those generating waste.

The board has asked the local bodies to ensure effective implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. All local bodies on the banks of the river have to obtain authorisation from the board for handling municipal solid waste as per rules prescribed. The board had earlier reported that the lack of authorisation enabled the local bodies not to abide by the provisions under the Solid Waste Management Rules. They will have to ensure scientific handling and disposal of waste after seeking authorisation.

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