Kochi

Samithi protests against Periyar pollution

Harmful effluents:Activists of the Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi staging a protest in front of the PCB office in Kochi on Saturday against the decision to waive the closure notice served on Sree Sakthi Paper Mills.

Harmful effluents:Activists of the Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi staging a protest in front of the PCB office in Kochi on Saturday against the decision to waive the closure notice served on Sree Sakthi Paper Mills.  

Activists of the Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi led a protest march to the regional office of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) at Gandhinagar here on Saturday against the board’s decision to waive the closure notice slapped on Sree Sakthi Paper Mills on the banks of the Periyar.

The day-long strike was continuing as the protestors demanded that the board should withdraw its decision to waive the closure order immediately.

They blamed the board and the company for causing the fish kill reported in the Periyar on Saturday.

“The company would require at least 45 days to complete the construction of the tank in which it was proposed to hold the effluents.

How can the board revoke its closure order when the management had not even taken preliminary steps to check dumping of effluents into the river,” asked Purushan Eloor, spokesperson of Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi.

Mr. Purushan wondered how the board, which itself had said in the closure order that the company had not complied with the discharge and emission standards as laid down under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and Environment (Protection) Act 1986, could revoke it within two days.

Closure notice

The board had pointed out that the closure notice will be in force till the company comes clean on the disposal and treatment of its effluents. After ensuring proper treatment facilities, it was asked to give an undertaking to maintain the zero discharge status.

K. Sajeevan, chairman of the State Pollution Control Board, said that the board could not issue a closure order on the basis of a protest. “The company had carried out the directives given by the board,” he said. Pointed to the fish kill in the Periyar on Saturday, Mr. Sajeevan said that there would be many reasons for such an incident.

Unknown source

“We were not able to ascertain the source as the protestors prevented our officials from reaching the site,” he said.

Representatives of various political parties, elected members and residents participated in the protest that began at 9.30 a.m.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 6:49:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/samithi-protests-against-periyar-pollution/article8572119.ece

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