Report filed by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board on Astamudi wetland and Vembanad-kol wetland pollution, Kollam district, Kerala, 17/08/2022

Report filed by the Senior Environmental Engineer on behalf of Kerala State Pollution Control Board.

The matter related to failure to take action for protecting Astamudi wetland and Vembanad-kol wetland, a Ramsar site in Kollam district of Kerala.

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board had conducted a sanitation survey of Ashtamudi lake and found that the main reason for the pollution of the lake water was the indiscriminate discharge of sewage and dumping of solid waste from households and establishments.

A common sewage treatment plant of capacity 12 MLD is being constructed in Kureepuzha by Kollam Corporation and is expected to be completed within one year. The Board had granted Consent to Establish the sewage treatment plant (STP). This STP will help in reducing sewage pollution to the lake.

Apart from the above major causes of pollution, coconut husk retting and related operations, though of small scale, are noticed to be carried out in the lake which contributes to pollution. The fishing boats fitted with outboard engines releases hydrocarbons and heavy metals into the system. The agricultural practices which involve the use of chemical/organic fertilizers and insecticides/pesticides, and the residues on entering the system may cause pollution and eutrophication. Boat breaking activities were resulting in deposition and burning of the solid wastes on the banks damaging the mangroves. Aquaculture and fish processing units were also noticed as causing pollution.