Social workers and the local people have intensified protests against the dumping of toilet waste into the Punoorpuzha, a major source of drinking water in the city and its suburbs.
Health activists have been demanding action to prevent the dumping, but to no avail. The river is being polluted with human waste from even public comfort stations, a health activist said. P.K. Sasidharan, secretary of the Paristhithi Samrakshana Samithi, which has been leading the protests, submitted a complaint to District Collector K.C. Latha on Tuesday, demanding action against those who released toilet waste into the river, near Vennakkadu, close to Koduvally. This is the point from where water is drawn for schemes to supply water in nearly 10 panchayat areas in the district and many densely populated places in the city, including the medical college and the Civil Station. The local people alleged that toilet waste was taken in a tanker lorry for dumping in this point of the river. Confirming that extensive contamination of the river posed a major threat to public health, a government doctor told The Hindu on Tuesday that the high incidence of jaundice in many places in the district could be traced to the dumping of toilet waste into the Punoorpuzha. Tests had confirmed that contaminated water reaching many places from the river could cause jaundice on consumption.