Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 10 June 2023 4.21 PM IST

Even bigger fine is awaiting


The National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore on the Kerala government for its failure in protecting the Vembanad and Ashtamudi lakes. The fine was imposed by taking into account the fact that the pollution in these two lakes has increased at an alarming rate. Recently, a fine of Rs 100 crore was slapped on the Kochi Municipal Corporation for the lapses in the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant in Kochi. The apathetic approach shown by the state government and local bodies on the issue of pollution is causing immeasurable damage to the environment and water resources. Not only Vembanad and Ashtamudi, but ninety percent of the state's water bodies have also become heavily polluted. This is a state where there is a special law for the protection of water bodies. However, we can see dams, rivers, streams and drains filled with garbage in all parts of the state. With the advent of plastic, all water bodies have become irretrievably polluted. Even the sea is also heavily polluted. Almost all the waste from lakes and rivers finally ends up in the sea. Even the outer sea is full of various types of garbage.

The government has been directed to deposit the fine of ten crore rupees imposed by the Green Tribunal bench in connection with the pollution of Vembanad and Ashtamudi lakes in a special account under the charge of the Chief Secretary. The government has to deposit the money within one month. The Chief Secretary has been given the responsibility to collect and pay the money from those responsible for the pollution. Shops, local residents, government departments, railways, local bodies and industries will all come under this. It is the Chief Secretary who has to find the culprits and levy fines. The NGT directed that this should be done within three months.

Drastic interventions like these are essential to reduce pollution levels of all kinds. People have also realized how terrible the environmental impact caused by the lapses in Brahmapuram was. Pollution Control Boards and Green Tribunal work to prevent pollution. Unfortunately, mountains of garbage found everywhere in the country are making life difficult for the people while these boards remain as mute spectators. The organized dumping of garbage is the reason why the Vembanad lake is so polluted. Not only the residents and business owners of the areas adjacent to the lake but also industries and local institutions dump waste in the lake. During the rainy season, when the water flow is strong, garbage can reach the lake even from far-off areas. Kerala witnessed the magnitude of this threat during the 2018 floods. The only way to deal with this menace is for the local bodies to set up waste treatment plants in whichever places that come under their jurisdiction. Any lapses in this field will lead the state to great danger. The fine imposed by the Green Tribunal should be seen as a first warning. If things don't go right, an unaffordable fine awaits the state.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.