Cleaning up the coastline

Friday 15 July 1994

-- The hue and cry raised by environmentalists about the Puri beach, castigated by the Central Pollution Control Board as one of the most polluted in India, has finally forced the Orissa government to set up a wastewater treatment plant.

Untreated domestic waste from a sewer along the seashore, as well as the city's 2 main drains, Ganamalasahi and Dhobasahi, flow into the sea at Bankimuhan, messing up the beach. Recently, however, the Rs 30-lakh treatment facility became operational recently. Now, the city's wastewater is being diverted into 3 ponds, according to Phani Bhushan Das, secretary, department of housing and urban development, thus preventing the gunk from flowing into the sea. The blue-green algae in the ponds purify the water by absorbing the carbon dioxide. Wastewater from the ponds is also used for casuarina and eucalyptus trees, which absorb the nitrogen and phosphorus.

"The wastewater is thus fully recycled without using any mechanical device," Das points out. Besides, this method has low initial and minimum maintenance costs.

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