GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 1955 ANSWERED ON: 14.03.2017
Cleaning of Toxic Water Bodies
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(a) whether the Government is aware that the Parvathy Puthanar canal, which connects Thiruvananthapuram to Veli and Kadinamkulam lakes in the State of Kerala, has a high content of toxic water and if so, the reasons therefor;
(b) whether Parvathy Puthanar canal was the site of a major accident in 2011, when a school van plunged into the canal killing six children and their ayah, and that the toxicity of the water directly reduced their chance for survival;
(c) if so, whether the Government has formulated any national policy to identify and clean toxic water bodies in the county; and
(d) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?
MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (SHRI ANIL MADHAV DAVE)
(a) As per information provided by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, the Parvathy Puthanar canal is polluted mainly due to discharge of untreated waste water / sewage from nearby residential areas.
(b) As per various news items, the accident took place during February, 2011 in Parvathy Puthanar Canal due to rash driving and high speed of the school van. It is also reported that the presence of aquatic weeds in the canal hampered the rescue operations.
(c) & (d) State Governments/ concerned local bodies are responsible for setting up facilities for collection, transportation and treatment of sewage for abatement of pollution of rivers and other water bodies. This Ministry has been supplementing the efforts of the State Governments in abatement of pollution in identified stretches of various rivers under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). NRCP (excluding Ganga and its tributaries which is handled by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation from 01/08/2014 onwards) has covered polluted stretches of 31 rivers in 75 towns spread over 14 States at a sanctioned cost of Rs. 4517.82 crores. So far, sewage treatment capacity of 2445.71 million litres per day (mld) has been created under the NRCP programme (excluding Ganga & its tributaries). In addition, under the scheme of National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA), financial assistance is provided to the State Governments for conservation of identified lakes and wetlands in the country, on cost sharing basis between the Central Government and respective State Governments. So far, an amount of Rs. 151.94 crores has been released to the States and other organizations for conservation and management of 82 identified wetlands in the country under the NPCA. Also, projects for conservation of 63 lakes in 14 States at a total cost of Rs. 1096.09 crores have been sanctioned and an amount of Rs. 687.588 crores has so far been released for the sanctioned projects, and work on 34 lakes has been completed under the programme.