Implementation of ‘polluter pays principle'

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) is sitting on a major recommendation made by the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) on hazardous wastes that ‘polluter pays principle' should be implemented to check pollution of Periyar River.

The laxity on the part of the board comes at a time when it remains clueless about the source of the increasing incidents of pollution in the river. Environmentalists and residents of Eloor and Edayar are also protesting against the failure of the board in preventing the recent fish death and pollution in Muttarpuzha.

Board sources said the proposal on ‘polluter pays principle' is gathering dust, as the authorities did not want to project an image that the board was against the growth of the industry in the State. Pollution of the river could have been effectively checked if the board had acted on the SCMC's suggestion, sources said.

In its report presented to the government, the SCMC had recommended allocation of individual shares towards the collective fine of Rs.2.5 crore imposed on 50 industrial units for polluting the Periyar in January, 2006. The committee found that these units were responsible for polluting the river for the past several years.

The board had suggested a scientific plan for allocating the individual shares but the process failed to take off properly. According to the formula evolved by the board, the penalty will be collected on the basis of the number of days of operation of a factory in violation of the hazardous waste rules since August 1989.

The annual turnover of the company during the period will be taken into account while determining the individual share. For instance, if the turnover of a particular company is Rs.3 crore and the number of days of violation is 25, the penalty will be worked out by multiplying three with 25 and dividing the amount by the total turnover of all the companies found responsible for polluting the river.


If the total turnover of all the companies comes to around Rs.200 crore, the individual share of the company (with turnover of Rs.3 crore and number of days of violation is 25) will be arrived by dividing 75 with 200. The result would be multiplied with Rs.2.5 crore to find out the individual share.

  • Protest against failure to check fish death

  • Board wants to keep its image intact