Staff Reporter

Encroachment of riverbank

Kerala River Protection Act being violated

Periyar has narrowed down considerably

KOCHI: Illegal occupation of the Periyar has become rampant thanks to the increasing number of high-rise buildings coming up on either side of the river.

More than 20 private groups and real-estate developers have announced their “river-view” building projects.

Studies conducted by agencies such as the State Pollution Control Board found that the natural lifeline of the river was under threat following large-scale encroachments upon its banks. High-rise buildings are coming up violating all provisions of the Kerala River Protection Act.

Revenue Department sources said a few real estate builders had violated the provision that construction activities should be taken up only 50 metres from the riverbank. Some of the projects had been set up at a distance of 10 metres from the river line.

Studies found that illegal occupation of the riversides had been rampant on the stretch from Vandiperiyar to the Kadamakudy panchayat area. The river had narrowed considerably from the Idukki arch dam to Karimban following unchecked encroachment. The Periyar Action Plan prepared in 1997 estimated the maximum width of the river at 405 metres in Kalady. In one of the latest cases, it was reported that several areas of the riverside from Malayatoor had been encroached upon. Encroachments had been reported at Poornakadavu in Kalady.

Similar cases had been reported from Veliyathunattukara in Aluva taluk, Thadikakadavu, Varanattukadavu, Puthenchalilkadavu, Kanjirathumparambukadavu and Parambukadavu.