Waste tanks mandatory for fish lorries: top cop

The fish-laden trucks, discharging fish waste water on the National Highway 66 and interior roads by ignoring complaints about the nauseating smell, will henceforth be penalised. 

The city police commissioner has decided to initiate action against such violators as per the guidelines laid down by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its order dated July 2, 2015.

Commissioner of Police (CoP) Sandeep Patil said that he had studied the NGT’s order to the Kerala government and decided to take action against the violating fish-truck owners. A meeting with transporters carrying fish had been convened and police had served notices to them with instructions to follow the guidelines, he added.

According to the guidelines, all vehicles carrying fishes should be made leak-proof. Fish should be carried in crates to prevent spillage of ice. A spill from the crates should be collected in waste water tanks of adequate size fitted in the lorry. The vehicle carrying one-ton fish should be fitted with a 50-litre capacity tank.

Armed with the NGT order, Kerala has taken strict action to check the discharge of nauseating wastewater on the road.

A fine of Rs 5,000 is slapped on the lorry owner when caught for the first time.

If the truck driver is found discharging wastewater on the road for the second time, the vehicle will be seized. Similar action will be initiated against trucks in Mangaluru, Patil said.

The problem

Exporters and transporters are currently following the age-old tradition of carrying marine products with ice on it. The ice melts along with residues of the marine product and spill on to the road. 

Hundreds of fish-laden vehicles travel along NH-66 carrying marine products to different places including Kerala and Goa.

The complaint

Nemu Kottari, a resident of Morgans Gate had complained to the police, transport and fisheries authorities. Nemu even wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking intervention.

In his complaint to the
PMO, he had said that the oil content in the wastewater posed a threat to two-wheelers plying on the roads, as bikes may skid. 

“If a two-wheeler rider is following such a lorry, he or she is bound to get sprayed with wastewater,” he had said. The PMO had in turn written to the Chief Secretary on February 5 to take action.

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