Kochi

NGT orders urgent action against Periyar pollution

The Periyar is highly polluted by effluents from over 250 industries on the banks of the river.   | Photo Credit: File photo

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, Environment, to come up with a proper action plan to prevent activities resulting in the pollution of the Periyar river.

The Bench comprising Justice K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta said that a remedial plan should be submitted before November 5. The Chief Secretary and the committee have to consider the report on Periyar pollution submitted by A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai, chairman of the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Solid Waste Management appointed by the tribunal.

The tribunal directed the authorities to ascertain the causes of pollution and take immediate preventive measures. The government and its departments concerned have been told to submit its suggestions as to how each one can play its role effectively for preventing the pollution of the river.

In its report submitted before the Bench, the SLMC chairman had observed that the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and other government departments concerned had failed to take strong action in checking the pollution of the river. “They are either afraid of someone or are guided by some other considerations. Even if action is initiated in some cases at the insistence of the public or media, the same would be namesake by sending some notice and without taking any follow-up action thereafter,” said the report.

He had also suggested the formation of an independent committee having powers to inspect any industry, hotel, high rises, health care institutions and other establishments on the banks of the river and to collect data necessary for the evaluation from such institutions.

However, the government urged the Bench to defer the formation of such a committee till it came up with suggestions for rectifying the defects pointed out by the SLMC. The KSPCB informed the tribunal that it would come up with a detailed report on the action to be taken against erring industrial units along the river stretch found responsible for polluting the water body.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 12:56:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ngt-orders-urgent-action-against-periyar-pollution/article32459655.ece

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