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Our fears are justified, say Lingam Nagar residents

Our fears are justified, say Lingam Nagar residents

Proposed site for faecal sludge management and treatment plant has been inundated due to heavy discharge in the Cauvery
Residents of Lingam Nagar and surrounding colonies who have been opposing the Tiruchi Corporation move to set a faecal sludge management and treatment plant at Kasivilangi on Kuzhumani Road in the city claim that their apprehensions over possible flooding of the facility were justified given the inundation of the project site over the past few days due to the heavy discharge in the Cauvery river.

The Corporation in 2016 unveiled a plan to set up the facility. The project was to be executed at an investment of Rs. 3.27 crore with financial assistance from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by a consortium.

However, the project is yet to take off as local expressing fears of possible pollution and traffic congestion on the narrow road, have been opposing it.

The residents have also moved the National Green Tribunal against the establishment of the faecal treatment plant in their locality.

The plant is planned on the lines of a project implemented at Devanahalli in Karnataka.

The treated waste water from the plant is planned to be used for irrigating gardens in its buffer zone and the bio-gas generated from the bio digester would be used for cooking. The composted sludge could be used as bio-manure in agricultural fields.

The project seeks to bring about an integrated and holistic approach in managing faecal sludge, covering about 10,700 households in six wards in the city.

Residents fear that the project would adversely impact low-lying area, prone to flooding.

They fear that flooding and possible submergence of the treatment plant could lead to pollution.

“With the rising water level in the Cauvery, the water headed up and inundated residential areas near Lingam Nagar. The project site was also inundated. This is the situation even without local rains and very meagre flow in the Kudamuritti canal. If Kudamuritti canal were to overflow, the entire area will be submerged as it has happened during floods in the past,” said V. Thirugnanasambandam, secretary, Lingam Nagar Residents Welfare Association.

If the facility, once established, was submerged there was every possibility of the entire area and the groundwater getting polluted, he contended and urged the Corporation to relocate the plant to a sparsely populated area.

Representatives from the project implementation agencies had earlier assured that the entire system would be underground and there would be no foul odour emanating from the plant. The treated waste water and the compost would be completely pathogen-free, they had maintained.

Corporation Commissioner N. Ravichandran, when contacted, observed that the facility could be designed taking into consideration the conditions of the location but pointed out that a court case was pending and further progress would depend on its outcome.

Source - The Hindu

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