Finding that the ongoing removal of debris of the four demolished apartments in Maradu, has inadequacies, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken suo motu case against the local body.
The action was taken following media reports of the visit by NGT appointed State Level Monitoring Committee's officials, to the spot.
In the order dated January 22, it states that the removal of debris had been causing sound pollution and that there was no proper dust control mechanism.
"Municipality as well as the contractor are not doing the removal of debris in accordance with the provisions under Construction and Demolition Waste Management rules 2016," the order states.
During the visit of Justice Ramakrishna Pillai, the chairman of the State Level Monitoring Committee, to the demolition spots in Maradu, he said that debris removal was not managed as it should be.
"It is also seen from the report that there is no proper action plan by the municipality or contractor to dispose of the debris in a scientific manner," it stated. NGT has also directed to form a joint committee consisting of secretary of Maradu municipality, Kerala State Pollution Control Board, District Collector, Ernakulam Sub Collector, to prepare an action plan.
Talking to TNM, Justice Ramakrishna Pillai said that further action will be taken against the municipality if they do not comply with the orders.
"During a meeting post my visit to Maradu, I had directed the local body officials that it was their responsibility to see that that removal of debris was done without causing other environmental damage. The way water is sprinkled to reduce dust was not effective, so we recommended using advanced sprinklers. It was even seen that this water, that is run off from the concrete debris, is in turn entering the adjacent water body making it polluted," said Justice Ramakrishna Pillai.
Meanwhile, reacting to this, officials of Maradu municipality told TNM that the local body should be spared as the responsibility lies with the contracting company.
"We have given a contract to remove the debris. They are supposed to take care of these things, how are we responsible," asked municipality chairperson TH Nadheera.
While the directions of NGT have not yet been complied with, the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) will be serving a notice to the local body under the direction of State Level Monitoring Committee asking to comply with its orders.
The four apartment complexes in Maradu were demolished following a Supreme Court order that all of them were constructed flouting Coastal Regulation Zone norms. A total of 76,000 tonnes of concrete waste is now being removed from the place.