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PCB Firm On Water Treatment In Njunangar  
Source:   The Hindu City   : Pathanamthitta Published On   08-12-2009  


The Chairman of the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) is understood to have directed the Travancore Devaswom Board to resume treatment of the water in the Njunangar stream, a tributary of the Pampa, with ‘ferrous chloride-titanium’ for the present pilgrimage season at Sabarimala. The method has been used in the past two seasons.

In a letter dated December 5 (PCB/Proj/Smala/2009), he directed the Chief Engineer of the Devaswom Board to submit an action-taken report on the treatment on an emergency basis.

The letter comes despite the fact that experts have pointed out the ill-effects of the direct treatment of the water in the stream using contaminated chemical waste generated at a private company in Aluva.

Sources in the PCB and the Devaswom Board told The Hindu that the ferric chloride used at the sewage treatment plant at Pampa in the previous years was also brought in tanker lorries from an Aluva-based company. A total of 1,24,750 litres of ferric chloride at the rate of Rs.6 a litre was used in the plant during the previous pilgrimage.

Official sources said certain high-level quarters in the PCB had been insisting on chemical treatment at the proposed sewage treatment plant at the Sannidhanam too. All these can increase the heavy metal concentration in the Pampa.

Probe under way

Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran had ordered a departmental inquiry into the treatment of water in the Njunangar stream. Even the irrigation wing of the Water Resources Department was kept in the dark about the treatment.

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