The implementation of key projects to monitor pollution in Periyar River and air pollution in the city initiated by the State Pollution Control Board is dragging.

The Pollution Control Board Chairman K. Sajeevan said in December the proposal to install surveillance cameras to monitor the physical changes of the Periyar waters would become a reality before March. The project was to be implemented in association with Keltron.

On Monday, he pushed the deadline further and said the cameras would be installed within two to three weeks. Discussions were on with officials of Keltron and six cameras would be set up downstream Pathalam bund soon, the Chairman said.

The second key proposal was the plan to introduce a 24-hour monitoring system to check illegal dumping of industrial effluents into the Periyar. Almost two years after announcing the project, the board has failed to even introduce a pilot project at select locations. Mr. Sajeevan said certain technical issues related to the tidal variations in the river were delaying its implementation.

The Chairman also repeated the earlier view that work on establishing a continuous online ambient air quality monitoring station at Vyttila was also progressing. The project, which was announced in October, also remains in the cold storage.

Purushan Eloor, spokesperson of the Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi, blamed the board for the inordinate delay in implementing the proposals to save the Periyar. He said the agency had no intention to save the river.

S. Sitaraman of the Association for Environment Protection at Aluva alleged the board, without controlling pollution, seems to be actually aiding pollution of the Periyar by the industrial units along the Eloor and Edayar industrial belt. No official is allowed to act against the polluters, thanks to their influence , he said.

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