PCB clueless on source of illegal dumping of chemicals

About 2.48 crore litres of effluents generated by nearly 55 industrial units in Eloor and Edayar are let out into the Periyar River daily after primary treatment, against the prescribed norm of ‘zero discharge’ by industries to prevent pollution of rivers.

According to the official data available with the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, there are 270 industrial units in the Eloor and Edayar region.

‘Zero discharge’

Only 42 industries have attained the zero discharge status. The board has no information on the effluents generated by 12 units.

Out of the total 270, 98 units fall under the ‘red’ category (highly polluting), 109 in ‘orange’ category (moderately polluting), and 63 came under the ‘green’ category (least polluting).

Industries figuring at the top of the list of units generating effluents in the region include FACT Ltd. (Petrochemical division – 5,040 kilo litres per day; Udyogmandal division – 4,800 kilo litres per day); Excel Enterprises, Edayar (5, 040 kilo litres per day); Excel Industries (4,800 kilo litres per day); Hindustan Insecticides Ltd. (1,024 kilo litres per day); General Chemicals and Polymers (1,024 kilo litres per day); and Binani Zinc (1,000 kilo litres per day in monsoon and 550 kilo litres during dry season).

Lack of information

Board sources admitted that they lack information on the various types of chemical effluents generated by the industries in Eloor and Edayar.

The State Pollution Control Board also remains clueless as to the exact source of illegal dumping of industrial chemical effluents into the Periyar river at different points.

A survey conducted by the Environmental Hydrology Group at the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in June 2007 had found nearly 60 ‘clandestine’ pipelines discharging effluents into the Periyar.

Under water tanks

Four storage tanks were found under water by the institute team.

Studies also found several openings into the Periyar in the form of drainage, pipelines and storage tanks.

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