Dear Friends, time for an update. We have made progress as follows:
Last week, we met the Collector and Sub Collector cum SDM and presented Petitions requesting:
- assistance with technical expertise from the Pollution Control Board to select a STP Formation plan from among the proposals we had received. (remember, the Collector told us to use the word formation instead of renovation for a reason – we may qualify for some Govt. funds)
- urgently help renovate our roads which are in a bad condition. We had emphasised that these roads have been handed over to the Government.
- Regularisation of our Layout
Following that visit, the Collector had called up the Project Director, Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Cuddalore for necessary action.
We were invited by the Project Director, DTCP for a meeting. At the Meeting last Friday, the Project Director promised to extend all assistance in regularisation of the layout. For the Meeting he had also invited the Block Development Officer (BDO) and advised us that the BDO is the competent authority for the regularisation under the recent GOs. He asked us to direct a letter to the BDO to explore the regularisation aspects of the township.
Accordingly, the next day Saturday, a Letter with copy to the Collector and Sub Collector was handed over personally to the BDO by our President who met the BDO and appraised him of our situation.
Today, the Sub Collector was met again to keep him in the loop of our efforts. We deeply and truly appreciate (not for sycophantic appeasement, but heartfelt) him for his efforts. He made several calls, one of which was to the pollution board requesting them to guide us.
In the evening, we went to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in SIPCOT area, Cuddalore and met the Chief Pollution Control Engineer. He received us and graciously extended his assistance. However, he mentioned that he has no official duty to scrutinise and recommend STPs, but on the Sub Collector and Collectors’s requests, he will guide us with the expertise of his office.
He heard us patiently and immediately formed a committee under his chairmanship, comprising of three Pollution Control Engineers and one external Engineer with expertise in STP from one of the Industries in the area. This has been a great development. We handed over our four proposals to him. He promised to study these proposals. He told us the following:
- New Pollution Control norms have come into force for effluents. Our STP will have to satisfy these new norms.
- We might have to get additional clearances from Environmental Agencies – some of these clearances should have been obtained before the STP construction, he will study these requirements and let us know how best to proceed.
- We will at the earliest have to apply for Pollution Control Board permission to operate the STP. (We will rely on his advice, he would be happy to help)
- His committee will rank these proposals, advice on adding features to make them satisfactory, etc. If the four proposals are hopeless, he will help us find more proposals.
- Their main criteria (among others) would be the sustainability of the STP operations over time.
We stressed upon the following facts:
- We don’t have the luxury of time – He said his committee will advise us this week.
- Our budget is limited – Obviously this is important.
- We will use our existing electricians, plumbers and labour force to maintain the STP, we want to run the STP for the foreseeable future.
Today was a productive day, thanks to our proactive Collector and Sub Collector. Based on our petition, the Collector has issued orders for inspection of our roads by Executive Engineer, Road Development, who visited our township in the Evening with his team.
We met the Engineer at our Maintenance Office after his inspection and he appraised us of his observations. He gave instructions to his staff to prepare a comprehensive layout plan detailing the present status of each of the roads, length, etc.
Then, based on this map, a plan to renovate each road based on its present status (classified into three groups) will be made. He dictated the parameters for each type of status, mentioning the Bitumen height, Jalli, etc etc. He said that the height of the road is the same as the house floor and this is an issue.
Regarding drainage of rain water, he said he will include a plan for open water drain on each side of the side roads sloping towards the main road which will then carry off the rain water towards our entrance on to the Main Road side (the Main Road is at a height, that is another issue for later).
The most important issue is financing of the renovation. We had petitioned for consideration under two schemes: Self Sufficiency Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The Engineer said that we might have to bear either: (1) One third of the cost, (2) Half the cost or (3) All of the cost, but it is in the preview of higher authorities/Collector. We will of course seek the maximum assistance from the Government, that is a separate challenging project in itself.
All in all, things are in motion.
That’s all, folks. Have a great evening!
- A committee has been formed at the Pollution Control Board to assess our proposals for technical feasibility and suitability
- Our roads will be studied in detail and plans for renovation drawn up, finance to renovate is to be decided by Govt.