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    Standoff over land acquisition continues

    KOCHI: Even as the corporation council remains stubborn against allotting land at Brahmapuram for a private company to set up a sewage treatment plant, the district administration has examined the required land and submitted the report to the village office and the High Court.“An advisory commission, along with the RDO, had gone and examined the site. A report has been submitted to the High Court regarding the same,” said District Collector PI Sheik Pareeth. He added that the site was found to be acceptable for the construction of the plant.Earlier, the High Court had ordered that 40 cents of corporation-owned land at Brahmapuram be allotted to Aquakem Engineers (India) Pvt Ltd to set up a sewage treatment plant. However, the council decided against it stating that the new plant would spark off local protests since the residents were already irked by the working of the existing solid waste treatment plant there.The instruction of the High Court was to operate the plant as a pilot project for the first six months and then, if the Pollution Control Board is satisfied with its operation, to continue with its operations.Otherwise, the company will have to remove the plant at its own cost, for which the company had agreed. “Since the required area has been earmarked, the company will move ahead with the work of the pilot project. We will soon approach the corporation regarding the same,” said Sreekumar V M, operations manager, Aquakem Engineers (India) Pvt Ltd.“For the plant to be set up there, the municipality needs to give a clearance certificate. This will not be possible since the people are bound to oppose the construction. However, the other decisions will be taken after the corporation receives the company’s request,” said T K Ashraf, chairman, Health Standing Committee, Kochi Corporation.