Protest Mounting

By Express News Service : http://newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/article326268.ece

02nd January 2012 07:41 AM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Environment Study Centre, Santhigram, has urged the State Government to withdraw from the move to set up a garbage treatment plant at Nettukaltheri.

 The Centre office-bearers said that the proposal to shift the controversial garbage treatment plant from Vilappilsala to Nettukaltheri would lead to the large-scale pollution of an ecologically sensitive region.

They said that the plant would contaminate the waters of the Neyyar river and dam, the main source of drinking water and irrigation needs of the people living in the downstream areas.

 The move to set up a garbage plant at Nettukaltheri or any other location in the catchment area of the Neyyar river would also affect the Kalippara drinking water project scheduled to be commissioned soon. As the Neyyar river also feeds the Vellayani lake, it will also lead to the pollution of the fresh water lake, thereby affecting thousands of families at Vellayani.

 The authorities should think of safer options for effective waste management, they said.

 A meeting of the ‘Watchdog committee on climate change’ held at Santhigram Chappath also urged the Government to withdraw from the move, which, it said, would have a devastating effect on thousands of families living on the southern areas extending from Kattakkada to Vellayani.

 The committee and the Environment Study Centre have demanded that the Government should devise methods for source-level treatment of waste.

The Corporation should also set up ward-level or regional-level treatment plants and withdraw

from the move to set up a big treatment plant, they said.

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Providing safe drinking water

By Express News Service :


08th March 2011 01:32 AM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Around ten years ago, an open well was dug on the premises of the Kuzhuvur Government LP School for providing drinking water to the children. The well has now become a source of pollution and a threat to the children’s health, prompting an NGO, Santhigram School of Ecology, to take up the matter with the Kottukal grama panchayat.

 Shantigram undertook a study along with Vikas Adhyayan Kendra, Mumbai, which found that the dry well was being used to dump all kinds of wastes, including the discharge from the urinals and latrines used by the students and teachers. A case study prepared by the watch dog committee of the Santhigram School of Ecology was submitted as a petition to the Kottukal grama panchayat.

 The study says that as a consequence of the ruination of the Kottukal wetlands and the overexploitation of ground water in the nearby areas, the school well went completely dry. The children and teachers of the school are being given polluted water from the Kollakonam-Vengapotta water tank of Kerala water Authority (KWA). No action has been taken either by the concerned authorities or by the public to resolve this vital issue of providing safe drinking water to the school children and teachers, the study says.

 On March 5 and 6, during a public meeting conducted in connection with the school anniversary, the NGO brought the issue to the attention of the school as well as the panchayat authorities, said L Pankajakshan, coordinator of Shantigram.

 The study points out that all kinds of wastes are dumped into the Kottukal Canal, the only surviving canal in the area. The projects prepared by the Grama Panchayat under the 11th Plan make no mention of any action for resolving this vital issue.

 The MNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme) is a potential tool for educating the people on the need for natural resource conservation and food security etc. But the panchayat activities under the MNREGS are not environment-friendly. Social audit has become a farce. People are not educated on the aims and objectives of the scheme, the case study says.

  The study has also put forward certain suggestions. Which includes the urgent need to find a sustainable solution to the problem of lack of clean water in the Moolakkara LPS. It recommends a detailed investigation into the status of the drinking water wells in the panchayat, with focus on wells in elevated areas such as Moolakkara and Sree Narayanapuram. A study on the water sources that were once active in the Kottukal lowland areas and what happened to them and the condition of the existing water sources in the area, was also suggested.

 The case study says that there should be awareness-building among the people, with focus on those who are involved in the MNREGS, on the need for natural resource conservation and environmental protection, climate change etc.



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