Seven apartment complexes have remitted a total penalty of about ₹1.75 lakh for illegal discharge of untreated wastewater into the Edappally and Perandoor canals.
The fine was imposed on the basis of ‘polluter pays princple’ as prescribed by the National Green Tribunal after inspections by the State Pollution Control Board and the Kochi Corporation found that untreated wastewater was discharged through pipelines directed into the canals.
Nearly 15 apartment complexes were found violating the environmental laws, of which seven apartment associations had paid ₹25,000 each as penalty. Prosecution measures would be initiated against apartment associations that had failed to remit the fine, according to officials involved in the process.
The Southern Bench of the tribunal had formed a joint committee comprising officials of the Kochi Corporation and Pollution Control Board after it took suo motu notice of The Hindu report titled ‘Faecal contamination high in Perandoor, Edappaly canals’ published on January 28, 2021. The report had revealed that total coliform count, indicating faecal contamination, had exceeded maximum permissible limits by 160 and 96 times in the two canals owing to illegal sewage dumping.
The engineering wing of the Corporation had shut down 15 illegal outlets directed into the canals. Of this, 13 were in Edappally canal. The Pollution Control Board has asked all complexes to set up effluent treatment plants as per the norms. Though some of the residents’ associations had informed that they had set up soak pits, the board has reiterated that effluent treatment plants need to be installed to ensure scientific management of wastewater.