Plea to remove encroachments on river banks

Special Correspondent

KOCHI: The State Human Rights Commission was on Wednesday petitioned to get all encroachments on the banks of the Periyar evicted.

V.P. Mohankumar, one of the commissioners who held a sitting at Aluva on Wednesday, said the commission would forward the petition to the Government.

David Kavungal, a functionary of the Janata Dal district committee, in his petition pointed out that both the banks of the Periyar had been extensively encroached upon and wanted the commission to order the Government to get the encroachments removed. He recalled that about 15 years ago an environmental study team sent by the then Ernakulam Collector had found that the banks of the river had been encroached upon a total of 140 km in Ernakulam and Idukki districts. Though the Collector had reported this to the State Government, no step had been taken to evict the encroachers, Mr. Kavungal said.

On another petition, the commission served notice on the Pollution Control Board, Ernakulam Collector, Kochi Police Commissioner and presidents of Eloor and Kadungalloor panchayats to explain why action was not taken to check the dumping of effluents on the Periyar by industries located in the two panchayats. The petition was moved by Mr. Omanakkuttan, an activist.

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