Experts have pointed out the need to set up an environmental surveillance centre for Vembanad lake with statutory powers to check the increasing pollution in the lake. This demand comes in the backdrop of the government bringing the Sasthamcotta lake under an authority to ensure its protection.

Renowned agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan had also suggested such a centre under the Kuttanad package. Dr.K.G. Padmakumar, former associate director of the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Kumarakom, said that a study conducted by the RARS earlier had showed that the coliform count had crossed 1000 in the lake.

“There is also presence of heavy metal concentration in the water. Residue from jewellery shops, paint shops and similar establishments are drained into the lake. There should be some facility for continuously monitoring the lake. This can only be ensured by a Centre with statutory powers,” he said. He said that many people had been pointed out to the government the need for ‘environment police’.

The RARS study, which began 30 months ago and is still ongoing, in March, 2012 showed that the presence of a particular type of algae, which grows only in polluted waters at a rate of more than 22 lakhs per litre.

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