Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding disposal of sewage into Buckingham Canal by private lorries, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 20/10/2020

  • 20/10/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Southern Zone, Chennai) in the matter of Tribunal on its own motion Vs The Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu dated 20/10/2020. The matter related to disposal of sewage in Buckingham Canal by private lorries.

The NGT, Southern Zone, Chennai on February 28, 2020 had taken up the matter of sewage water discharge into the Buckingham Canal near the Sholinganallur Zone by private lorries. The sewage was being collected from the areas of Sholinganallur Zone which includes Sholinganallur East Coast Road and Old Mahabalipuram Road area.

The matter was again taken up by the Tribunal October 10, 2020 - wherein the Committee in its report to the NGT stated that Sholinganallur, a residential locality of Chennai is among the 42 local bodies added in the expanded area of Chennai city and under the administrative jurisdiction of Greater Chennai Corporation. Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewarage Board is in the process of providing underground sewer lines, partially completed in the Sholinganallur area and has already established, commissioned Sewage Treatment Plant at Kalignar Karunanidhi Salai, Sholinganallur to a capacity of 18 MLD, further proposed to establish another 54 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to handle the sewage generation from the Sholinganallur and nearby areas.

The sewage generated from the individual households was collected in the septic tank arrangements and the sewage generated from the commercial sector was disposed through sewage tanker lorries which inturn decant the same in the decanting arrangements provided in the Perungudi STP complex which has the capacity of handling 126MLD of sewage for the treatment and disposal.

The Committee in its inspection of the area on September 5, 2020 observed no decantating of sewage in the Buckingham Canal by the private sewage lorries near the Sholinganallur zone.

In a meeting the Private Sewer Lorry Owners Association had said that there was only one sewage treatment plant at Perungudi which covered the area of entire South Chennai as a result of which the lorries needed to travel so much distance from far off places and decant into the Perungudi Sewage Treatment Plant. Some of these private sewage lorries avoided this long-distance travel and disposed of the sewage into the Buckingham Canal.

The NGT, October 20, 2020 directed the Committee to submit a further report and give approprite direction to the concerned authorities.