Supreme Court Committee Directs Coca-Cola to Provide Water Through Pipeline to Community
KOCHI, AUG. 21. The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) on hazardous
waste has decided to levy a collective fine of Rs.2.5 crores on the
entire industrial estates of Eloor and Edayar in Kochi for being responsible
for the high level of pollution in the Periyar river.
The Committee has made the recommendation in its report, a copy of
which is available with The Hindu, submitted to the Kerala Government
on the basis of the visits conducted to several industrial units in
the State recently, including those at Eloor and Edayar.
The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) has been asked to ensure
that the amount was collected. The fine would be utilised to monitor
the health of the river, to create conditions for the re-entry of
life in the river and to restore its ecology.
Directive to PCB
The Committee has also directed the PCB to close down all industrial
units in the State that have no authorisation to operate under the
Hazardous Waste Rules, 1989. Industrial units will not be allowed
to reopen until they have the proper facilities to dispose of the
hazardous wastes, required under the Rules. The order must be complied
with within eight days and a compliance report submitted to the Committee
in New Delhi at the expiry of the period.
Relying upon the Supreme Court order dated May 7, 2004 that requires
water to be supplied to communities affected by industrial wastes,
the Committee directed the State Government and the industrial units
of Hindustan Coca-Cola, Binani Zinc, Kerala Mines and Minerals and
Kerala Newsprint to ensure that water supply through pipeline is delivered
to the houses of all the affected communities in the vicinity of these
units. It found the present arrangement of delivering water in tankers
or in a few public locations through public taps unacceptable.
The PCB has been directed to set up four committees under its Regional
Officers in these places to create a register of persons who have
been affected and to ensure that the above companies installed a piped
water supply to the houses of all the persons so affected. Action
plan for compliance of this direction should be submitted within two
weeks and action should be completed within six months, the report
In relation to restoring the life of the Periyar, the Committee had
already directed the PCB to set up a Local Area Environment Committee
(LAEC). The cost of its working should be met by the PCB. Non-official
members would be entitled to an honorarium or stipend for their work
on the committee. All industrial units would be notified about the
formation of the LAEC.
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