Kuzhikandam creek remediation work to be awarded next year

Kuzhikandam creek remediation work to be awarded next year
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Kuzhikandam creek remediation work to be awarded next year
Crying for attention: The heavily polluted Kuzhikandam creek at Eloor.

PCB requests NGT to condone the delay in filing action-taken report

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has submitted before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it will award the work for the phased remediation of the contaminated Kuzhikandam Thodu, a 1.5-km-long narrow creek in Eloor-Edayar area, by February 17 next year.

NGT, in an order passed on July 3, had directed the KSPCB to complete the tender documents and award the work within three months.

In an affidavit filed before the NGT on October 3 explaining the action taken on the verdict, KSPCB requested that the delay in filing the report be condoned. It attributed the delay to the time constraints in completing re-monitoring for transparent tender procedures as instructed by the Central Pollution Control Board Supervised Committee (CPCB-CS), further sampling and analysis of the contaminated river stretches and the insistence on the part of the KITCO, roped in as consultant by KSPCB, to seek administrative and technical sanctions from the State government for the tender documents.

KSPCB also sought enough time for the completion of the remediation of the waterbody, which, according to it, is its first such task.

NGT had constituted a CPCB-CS comprising representatives of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, KSPCB and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority and the District Magistrate for the remediation of the contaminated stretch.

KSPCB also submitted a detailed timeline drawn up by KITCO from the preparation and approval of the tender documents and inviting of tenders to the award of work within a period stretching between November 14 and February 17 next year.

The remediation of the waterbody will be carried out as per the detailed project report drawn up in 2016 though reduced concentration of contaminants was found in its sediments in the aftermath of the last year’s deluge. However, KSPCB said that the work could be carried out only in a phased manner since the amount collected was not enough to complete the entire stretch of the waterbody.

KSPCB had carried out multiple monitoring and sampling of the Kuzhikandam Thodu and the Periyar in the presence of CPCB-SC members and sent the samples to the State government laboratory and 11 samples to the Central Pollution Control Board laboratory. The reports from laboratories are being awaited based on which further decisions will be taken on the identification of contaminated river stretches.

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