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CHAPTER 6

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES



6.1. Preamble
The proposed Thevara-Perandoor canal project envisages the rejuvenation of the existing canals
equipping them for safe navigation and for promoting recreation facilities along the bank for
tourism promotion.The impact identification process covers two phases of the project,
1. The construction phase
2. The operational phase
An Environmental Impact can be defined as an alteration of the existing environmental
conditions or the creation of new set of beneficial or adverse environmental consequences caused
by the proposed activity

6.1.1. IMPACT ON THE EXISTING WATER RESOURCES
The Water requirement for this project is expected to emerge from two areas listed below:
1. The water required for construction of embankements and reconstruction of bridges
across the canals and the connecting roads.
2. The irrigation requirements to sustain the greenery along the canal banks during the
operational phase.
This is expected to be catered from the existing water resources of KWA and bore wells.

6.1.2. WATER QUALITY IMPACTS & THE PROTECTION OF
AQUATIC ECOLOGY

The primary concern with regard to water quality would be earthworks, demolition works and the
control of construction site runoff and drainage. The water quality assessment concluded
that the identified water quality impacts could be controlled by implementing there
commended mitigation measures. Any effluent discharges from the site would
be required to comply with the terms and conditions of a discharge licence. It was
recommended that regular site inspections be undertaken toinspect the construction
activities and works areas in order to ensure the recommended mitigation measures
are properly implemented.The entire area forms a part of the wet lands that fall adjacent
to the Vembanad Backwater system.These wet lands plays the role of Natures
Kidneys.During the proceeding phases,due care is to be taken to protect the wet lands
from damage .No discharge of pollutants is to be allowed into these areas. The natural
rain water run off paths are not to be choked with waste materials.

6.1.3.
ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS


There will be a minimal ecological impacts from proposed works and no long-term
residual impact on ecology would be expected with implementation of proper mitigation
measures recommended in the EIA Report for the Project.

6.1.4
. LANDSCAPE AND VISUAL IMPACTS


It has recommended that the implementation and maintenance of landscape andvisual
measures within the construction site including protection of existing resources,
mitigation planting and surface treatment of structures be included.

6.1.5
. IMPACT ON CULTURAL HERITAGE


The assessment of potential impact on cultural heritage concluded that no areas of
archaeological interest were identified. As such, mitigation measures would not
be required .As the majority of heritage resources are located quite far from the
proposed works, no adverse impacts associated with the construction works
would be expected.

6.1.6. WASTE MANAGEMENT IMPACT

Waste management would be the contractors responsibility to ensure that all wastes
produced duringthe construction of the Project are handled, stored and disposed
of in accordance with good waste ma n a g e me n t
p r a c t i c e s , a n d Go v e r n me n t r e g u l a t i o n s a n d r e q u i r e me n t s .
Waste generated during the construction activities should be audited periodically to
determine if wastes are being managed in accordance with approved procedures and the
site Waste Management Plan. The audits should look at all aspects of waste management
including waste generation, storage, transport and disposal. An appropriate audit program
would be to undertake a first audit near the commencement of the construction works,
and then to audit on a quarterly basis thereafter. In addition, the routine site inspections
should check the implementation of the recommended good site practices and other waste
management mitigation measures.

6.2 .MITIGATION MEASURES
The dredged material should not be allowed to accumulate along the canal banks.Arrangement
are to be made for shifiting the dreged material immediately to an isolated location,where it will
be disinfected and used as land fill. The dredged material has to be properly covered before
being transported.
During the construction phase, the dust generation from the earthwork, vehicular emissions and
the occasional use of DG sets, in the event of power failure, are the sources of air pollution
anticipated from the Project site. These are expected to be transient in nature and also localized
to a limited area. Hence no impact on the air quality is anticipated during the construction phase
and the Operational phase .Presently the putrification taking place in the water bodies is
generating methane gas,which is polluting the air in the vicinity of the canals. the overall
improvement to the environment around the canals,after rejuvenation, is expected to improve the
air quality during the operational phase.


6.2.1 SEWAGE GENERATION,TREATMENT AND REUSE

The project will become sustainable only if the flow of sewage into the canal network is
stopped permanently. Discharge of the untreated sewage into the canal will cause
environmental damage of the highest order and will continue to keep the canals in the
present state of disrepair.

6.2.1.1.Mitigation measure:

The success of the proposed Thevara-perandoor waterway project hinges on the implementation
of sewage network and creation of STPs for the population living in Ernakulam area of Kochi
city.The flow of raw sewage into the canal network is to be prevented completely. The
provisions of septic tank, proper sewerage connections etc should be linked to each and every
houses and buildings. Installation of a small waste water treatment system to the community
helps decrease the pollution and make use of water effectively. Its recommended that the
authorities in charge should go on with proper checkings in a regular interval of time and
implementation of fines, taking immediate actions etc in case of any violation will help.

6.2.2 SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

Solid waste is the unwanted or useless solid materials generated from combined residential,
industrial and commercial activities in a given area. It may be categorised according to its origin
,according to its contents or according to its hazard potential. It is estimated that a fairly large
quantity of bio-degradable and plastic wastes gets dumped into the canal, chocking it. The solid
wastes accumulated in the canal resist the flow of the canal and hence the water in it is observed
to have changed its natural colour to blackish brown and also produces disgusting smell. The
cleaning of canals cannot be done due to the possibility of epidemics, presence of poisonous
gases etc. Waste that is not properly managed, especially excreta and other liquid and solid waste
from households and the community, are a serious health hazard and lead to the spread of
infectious diseases. Unattended waste lying around attracts flies, rats, and other creatures that in
turn spread disease. Normally it is the wet waste that decomposes and releases a bad odour. This
leads to unhygienic conditions and thereby to a rise in the health problems.organic domestic
waste poses a serious threat, since they ferment, creating conditions favourable to the survival
and growth of microbial pathogens. Direct handling of solid waste can result in various types of
infectious and chronic diseases with the waste workers and the rag pickers being the most
vulnerable.

6.2.2.1 Mitigation measure:

Management of solid waste reduces or eliminates adverse impacts on the environment and
human health and supports economic development and improved quality of life.

The studies
must include protection of the natural environment and occupational health and safety aspects,
taking the possibilities of sustainable development into consideration. As it seldom is possible to
solve all problems at one time, it is important at the planning stage to note that it is helpful to set
up a list of priorities. The first step in solving environmental and occupational hazards is to
recognize the existence of the hazards. A number of processes are involved in effectively
managing waste for a municipality. These include monitoring, collection, transport, processing,
recycling and disposal.
All of the methods of waste prevention mentioned require public participation. In order to get the
public onboard, training and educational programmes need to be undertaken to educate the
public about their role in the process. Also the government may need to regulate the types and
amount of packaging used by manufacturers and make the reuse of shopping bags mandatory.
Proper arrangements are to be made to collect and process the solid waste generated in the
project region so as to prevent the dumping of solid waste into the canal. Providing proper
boundaries along the side of the canal decreases the rate of encrochements and throwing of waste
to the canal. Proper inspection by the ruling authority is recommended. In case of any violation
of rules meant for protecting the canal implementation of fines and moving with legal orders will
be effective. Systems such as Dumping at designated location, Shared container , Block
collection, Curbside collection, Door to door collection etc will help.


6.2.3
NOISE POLLUTION DURING CONSTRUCTION AND
OPERATIONAL PHASES

Prolonged exposure to noise pollution is known to cause impairment of the hearing system in all
living beings, leading to permanent deafness. Noise pollution could occur during the
constructional phase due to the continuous operation of noisy construction equipments. Though
this is a transient activity , the construction workers could be continuously exposed to the high
level noise.

6.2.3.1 Mitigation measure:

It is recommended that construction machinery maybe provided with noise dampening devices,
sound proofing enclosures, etc. Construction workers exposed to noisy environment should use
Ear muffs and provided with remote operating devices. Silencers can be provided wherever
necessary. Acoustic standard are to be prescribed for all possible equipments.

6.2.4 TERRESTIAL ECOLOGY

Construction activity are proposed to be carried out for rejuvenating the canal network, widening
the canals to navigable width and deepening the canals. This could bring various significant
changes to the components of terrestrial ecosystem. To compensate it, adequate protective
mechanisms are to be put in place.

6.2.4.1 Mitigation measures


Precautionary measures are to be planned to avoid damages due to large scale construction
activities. The cost benefit analysis of undertaking the Thevara-Perandoor Canal project, vis-a-
vis the negative impacts is to be carried out before embarking on the project.

6.2.5.
FORESTS, NATIONAL PARKS,SANCTUARIES


The project location is the midst of the urban agglomeration of Kerala. Hence there are no
Forests or National Parks or Sanctuaries within a radius of 25 kilometers from the Project site.
No land is proposed to be acquired within a forest zone or a National park. Any major
deforestation is considered as a permanent impact. Since there is no proposal for the utilization
of forest land, there is no deforestation. Hence, there would be no impact by the project on this
ground.

6.2.6 IMPACT ON THE LAND USE IN THE AREA

Heavy construction activity is slated to take place in the vicinity of the canals. Large parcels of
land are required to be acquired for the widening the canals to the minimum navigable
width.Presently the land is densely populated with large scale residential and commercial
projects located along most stretches of the canal banks. The land parcels are situated in the most
expensive regions of the state and would require large sum of money for land acquisition,
resettlement and rehabilitation of the displaced project affected people

6.2.6.1 Mitigation measures
:

Suitable R&R schemes are to be made to accommodate the population that will get
displaced. A thorough social cost-benefit analysis is to be carried out before commencing
the project to evaluate the relative benefits of the project and costs.

6.2.7 DEMOGRAPHIC,ECONOMIC&SOCIOLOGICAL IMPACT

Large scale construction is expected to take place in the vicinity of the canals. These
activities are expected to have both favourable and adverse demographic, economic and
sociological impacts on the entire region.

The land acquisition could cause adverse impact due to the related R&R issues. The
demographic profile of the region will undergo change with the influx of the more people
to the banks of the canal,in view of the improved physical connectivity, if the
transportation goal could be achieved. This will contribute to the growth of the economy
of the region.Increased population and commercial activity could contribute to the
betterment of the demographic, economic and sociological aspects of the region.


6.2.8 IMPACTS ON HUMAN SAFETY & HEALTH

Impact:The general Water environment is poor due to a high level of faecalcoli. The
construction and operation of the pilot project will not result in any significant change
other than a small increase in the throwing of the human defecation directly into the
water body.Clearing of water hyacinth for an effective navigation will reduce the
mosquito breeding and will impact positively to the general environment.

Noise levelAssessments also suggest that the noise levels with the proposed project
will be slightly higher as the number of new boats would increase more noise levels.

Contamination of local water supplies:Due consideration has been given to the


possibility of temporary labour camps and the water supply and disposal associated
with them during the construction period to ensure that the potential for adverse
impacts are avoided.

Pollution during Transportation of Building Materials:All building material should be


covered while transportation to avoid spillage of the material,leading to dust pollution
due to exposure to wind.

Concrete mixing plants: should be carefully located to avoid any disturbance to the
locals.All materials should be collected,transported and used in an environmental
healthy manner.

Sanitation and solid waste generation and disposal in theworkers camp:The camps
should be properly located to avoid social nuisance to the local community.

6.2.8.1 Mitigation measures:

There will be provisions for clearing the water hyacinth for effective navigation.This will
be included in the engineering cost.The human waste from vessels operating in the area
will be suitably disposed off in a separate sewerage system.the cost of septic tank have
been incorporated in the social impact mitigation cost.With the strengthening of the basic
infrastructure and a better sewerage system the overall quality of life of all the people
living in the region will be improved.

6.2.9 WATER HYACINTH ALONG THE CANALS

One of the most important step in the project is the removal of water hyacinth and its
control.There is no observed definite pattern for its occurrence along the canals.Any mapping of
the weed is thus a futile exercise.the nature of its appearance and disappearance is
spontaneous.In monsoon due to heavy currents the hyacinths are not seen.Presence of the
hyacinth presents a poor aesthetic sight for the tourists.Water hyacinth is a threat to the
following;

1. Serious threat to local communities:The flow of water decreases.Water become stagnant as a
result mosquito breeding increases.Dirty smell etc.
2. Nuisance to Navigation and Fishing operation:Causes serious hindrance to Navigation.The
propeller of the motorized vessels often became fouled with these,causing damages.
3. Threat to Agricultural operations:They are constraints to aquatic productivity and disrupt
agricultural operations when they invade the paddy fields.


6.2.9.1 Mitigation measures:

o
Water hyacinth can be used as a fodder to cattle.
o
Its dried form can be used as Biogas.
o
It was used as a packing material in the glass factory,since the spreading of hyacinth was
uncontrollable such a plan is dropped.
o
Since it is an ornamental plant,it can be used for floral arrangements.
o
Experimental results shows that Water Hyacinth is a promising material for the
production of fibre and insulation boards
o
Water Hyacinth is a good fertilizer for the growth of coconut palms.Its used as a
compost in the coconut gardens.




References

1. Source: Development of water networks in Cochin Feasibility report : NATPAC,
February 2010
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programme. Sewerage and Solid Waste Project Unit, Barbados.
3. United Nations Environment Programme International Source Book on
Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs)for Municipal Solid Waste Management
4. American Public Health Association (APHA). 1995. Standard Methods for the
Examination of Water and Wastewater. Alexandria, Va: Water Environment
Federation.
5. ARET Secretariat. 1995. Environmental Leaders 1, Voluntary Commitments to Action
On Toxics Through ARET. Hull, Quebec: Environment Canadas Public Enquiry
Office.
6. Bishop, PL. 1983. Marine Pollution and Its Control. New York: McGraw-Hill.
7. Brown, LC and TO Barnwell. 1987. Enhanced Stream Water Quality Models QUAL2E
and QUAL2E-UNCAS: Documentation and User Manual. Athens, Ga: US EPA,
Environmental Research Lab.
8. Brown, RH. 1993. Pure Appl Chem 65(8):1859-1874.
9. Calabrese, EJ and EM Kenyon. 1991. Air Toxics and Risk Assessment. Chelsea,
Mich:Lewis.