The government has earmarked Rs 30 crore towards realising the much-delayed Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) at the Edayar industrial area in Kochi.
The support is part of the Rs 250-crore assistance agreed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India for setting up CETPs in various industrial estates in the State, according to P. Rajeeve, Minister for Industries. The government’s intent is to modernise the industrial estates in the State, he said.
As per the detailed project report, the proposed plant will have the capacity to treat two million litres per day. The Department of Industries has approved the detailed project report. As per the preliminary report prepared by the Kerala Water Authority, the site identified is close to the North-West portion of the industrial estate, which was previously occupied by the now defunct Periyar Chemical Industries. There is sufficient land with a facility to discharge to the downstream of the Pathalam regulator-cum-bridge of the Periyar river, it said.
On apprehensions raised by local residents about the facility, Rajeeve said that there need not be any concerns as the CETP is coming within the industrial area.
The delay in setting up the CETP had invited the criticism of the National Green Tribunal after the court pulled up the authorities for not initiating steps to check the illegal discharge of effluents into the Periyar. The project has been pending for long as the authorities attributed the delay to the paucity of funds and the pandemic situation.
Of the 336 industries in the Edayar industrial development area, 126 units generated effluents. Only 40 units are having effluent treatment facilities. Nearly 29 units have preliminary treatment facilities while the rest lack any such facility. The total quantity of water consumed is about 4,500 cubic metres per day. About 75% was discharged as used water along with a large quantity of effluents and pollutants, according to official estimates.