Kochi

New panel to prepare Periyar rejuvenation plan

Continuing problem: The proposal to form a joint committee emerged based on the inference that the pollution of the Periyar cannot be confined to the situation on the Eloor-Edayar stretch alone.

Continuing problem: The proposal to form a joint committee emerged based on the inference that the pollution of the Periyar cannot be confined to the situation on the Eloor-Edayar stretch alone.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

SLMC proposes joint committee comprising representatives of all local bodies located along the river

The State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on solid waste management appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has proposed a joint committee comprising representatives of all local bodies located along the Periyar river as part of preparing a major rejuvenation plan to save the waterbody.

A meeting of representatives of the local bodies will be convened after the government lifts the restrictions on mass gatherings in view of the COVID-19 threat.

Detailed plan

“The idea is to involve all the stakeholders in the process of working out a detailed action plan for rejuvenating the river. The local bodies will be invited to attend the meeting of the district-level monitoring committee,” said SLMC chairman A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai.

The move comes close on the heels of the directive issued by the NGT to curb rampant pollution of rivers across the country. The SLMC has been given the powers to initiate measures that will ensure the lifeline of the waterbodies in the State.

The proposal to form a joint committee having representation of all local bodies emerged based on the inference that the pollution of the Periyar cannot be confined to the situation on the Eloor-Edayar stretch alone.

PCB findings

The committee has taken into consideration the findings by the State Pollution Control Board that majority of the local bodies had no scientific facility to treat effluents from industries and households located along the river. Studies found that waste from houses and slaughterhouses were released into the water. The lack of sewage treatment plants in local bodies close to the Periyar remains a problem.

The board has suggested a plan to evaluate the ‘load sources’ flowing into the Periyar. These could be COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand, the total measurement of all chemicals in water that can be oxidized) loads and nutrient loads which come from specific sources.

The SLMC is likely to ask the board to identify the sources of pollution in the Periyar after analysing the total load in the river. The local bodies will be asked to come up with specific plans to stop pollution of the river stretches and protect it from pollution and encroachment, it is learnt.

Research carried out by the School of Marine Sciences at the Cochin University of Science and Technology had found that domestic waste from Aluva and Kalamassery regions remains a major pollutant in the upstream stretches of the Periyar.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 2:28:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/new-panel-to-prepare-periyar-rejuvenation-plan/article31077285.ece

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