STP at Avikkal hits another roadblock

Residents protest against the project, saying it will cause waterlogging

The Kozhikode Corporation’s sewage treatment plant (STP) project at Avikkalthodu has hit another roadblock, with a section of local residents protesting against it and demanding that the project be shifted to another place.

The Corporation has planned two STPs at Kothi and Avikkalthodu under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme. The projects are estimated to cost ₹116.5 crore. The Avikkalthodu project has been cleared by the Pollution Control Board (PCB) and the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Authority.

However, local residents alleged that the Corporation authorities had not consulted them before deciding to set up the STP. They fear that the drain, near which the plant is coming up, will shrink further leading to waterlogging. The facility is being set up on the border of Vellayil and Thoppayil wards of the Corporation.

“Vellayil is the ward with the highest population density. The drain is already narrow thanks to dumping of garbage. If it is blocked further, rainwater will cease to flow into the sea, putting us in trouble,” said Soufiya Aneesh, councillor from Vellayil. She demanded that the Corporation shift the plant to a less populated area.

At the same time, C.P. Sulaiman, councillor from Thoppayil, said residents’ apprehensions were baseless, and that issues, if any, could be resolved if they communicated them to the Corporation. “We have conducted several rounds of discussions and have sought the views of people before going ahead with the project,” he said.

He added that the area had serious waterlogging issues, and that septic tank waste contaminated even drinking water. “The region is prone to not just flooding but contagious diseases such as jaundice, dengue, malaria, and leptospirosis. It is quite essential for us to find alternatives to dispose of septic tank waste,” said Mr.Sulaiman, who is recuperating from leptospirosis, which he contracted during a rescue mission during the recent floods.

The STP is being set up using a technology connecting all houses to the pipeline that takes septic waste directly to the plant, where it will be powdered and converted into organic manure. The liquid waste is purified and used for construction purposes.

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