On 28th June 2021, Cuddalore Sipcot Industries Common Utilities Limited (CUSECS) that provides Infrastructure Facilities for Common Marine Disposable System for industrial units in SIPCOT Cuddalore was damaged leading to leakage of treated industrial effluents on the ground much before reaching its destination at the deep sea dump site.
The interconnecting pipeline of the CUSECS was broken in SIPCOT phase II at a point that is situated about 2m next to kuttakaran temple towards east of ECR road. The damage is reported to be caused by nearby repair work towards an EB pole.
This suggests that the infrastructure of the interconnecting CUSECS pipeline is not designed in a manner that could absorb external shocks and that the absence of sign boards/ stones along the path of the CUSECS pipeline to notify its presence could have contributed to the damage.
CUSECS is bound to follow the following conditions stipulated in its CTO:
- The unit shall maintain the CUSECS pipeline network, valves, pipes & fittings, sump etc, for efficient operating conditions round the clock without any leakage/overflow by engaging adequate number of staff on shift basis.
- The operation of CUSECS shall not attract complaints from any section of people
From this incident, it is clear that the above conditions are not complied with by the CUSECS.
Also, the cumulative treated effluents (from member industries of CUSECS) are not safe for land disposal. This potentially could impact the soil quality, groundwater quality and nearby surface water quality and thereby impact the health of residents and the ecosystem in the area.
SACEM has made a complaint to the concerned authorities with the following demands:
- Take necessary action to provide a proper mechanism to handle leakage in CUSECS pipeline caused due to external accidents.
- Remove the leaked treated effluent safely from the stagnation and redirect it to ETP.
- Re-design or provide shock resilient infrastructure to CUSECS.
- Erect signboards/stones along the pipeline network of CUSECS.
- Constitute a communication mechanism to intimate any such accidents to concerned departments like electricity board, highways, public works department, telephone exchange and SIPCOT to take speedy remedial action.