Steps being taken to remove encroachments along Konothupuzha

Building permit of residential, commercial units discharging sewage into river to be cancelled

The district administration has initiated steps to remove encroachments along the Konothupuzha as part of efforts to restore the river to its original condition.

District Collector Jafar Malik has asked the Survey Department and the local bodies to jointly ascertain the boundary of the river and report on the encroachments on both sides of the waterbody within a week. The violators will be served a week’s notice before clearing the encroachments. The river rejuvenation work would be completed in two phases, he said.

The building permit of households and commercial establishments discharging sewage into the river will be cancelled. The action will be taken as per the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The long-term projects for rejuvenating the river will be completed in six months.

The government has given its nod for a ₹20.85-crore project proposed by the Irrigation Department for the restoration of Konothupuzha. The administrative sanction from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is pending. The Haritha Keralam Mission and the Agriculture Department will promote paddy cultivation on the banks of the river.

The State Pollution Control Board had found illegal discharge of sewage into the river from high-rises and vehicle service stations. It had issued closure notices to two such stations that had dumped wastewater without installing proper effluent treatment plants. Four apartments were found operating sewage treatment plants without the permission of the Board while the system in one apartment was faulty.

The National Green Tribunal had asked the authorities to step up measures to save the river from pollution and encroachment following reports submitted by the State-Level Monitoring Committee on solid waste management. Konothupuzha lies between the Champakkara canal and the Vembanad lake and runs through Thripunitura municipality, and Chottanikkara, Mulanthuruthy, Udayamperoor and Amballoor grama panchayats.

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