PCB zeroes in on sources of pollution in Periyar

Board chairman visits Eloor industrial belt, meets activists

Ajit Haridas, Chairman of the State Pollution Control Board (PCB), has said that the board wants to evaluate the ‘load sources’ flowing into the Periyar. Speaking to The Hindu on Friday after a two-day visit to the industrial belt along the Periyar, he said that 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.

“We still do not have scientific knowledge of the total load in the Periyar, so the aim is to identify which of these are the biggest sources of pollution and come up with specific plans to tackle these on a priority basis,” he added. His visit was to have a preliminary look at the Periyar and observe it during its different flow regimes at different times of the day.

“Another reason for the severity of the problems in the Periyar is that there is very little water flow in the river, especially during summer, which leads to the accumulation of discharged nutrients in the river, causing its eutrophication, he said. An in-depth study is required to address these issues,” he said.

The Chairman visited several industries along the belt, including several small-scale industries, and the issues around the units. His initial inspection shows that municipal waste does appear to be a big concern.

He also held a meeting with activists including members of Janajagratha and Periyar Malineekarana Viruddha Samiti.

Scientific details pertaining to the pollution levels of each industry would be collected as well as the mass balance [a method in which flow off can be identified by accounting for the materials entering and leaving a system] account of each industry, said Purushan Eloor of the Periyar Malineekarana Viruddha Samiti who attended the meeting.

Regarding the dyke and monitoring path that have been recommended along the banks of the Periyar, the PCB would request the government to look into it since the protection of the banks is important, said Mr. Haridas. The PCB is currently preparing an action plan to be submitted to the National Green Tribunal on remedial actions in the Periyar, he added.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 9:55:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/pcb-zeroes-in-on-sources-of-pollution-in-periyar/article26749079.ece

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