Activists and residents of Eloor on Friday staged a protest march to the Eloor Pollution Control Board (PCB) office demanding that pollution in the Periyar be stopped.
Around 50 people, including fishermen and residents, took part in the march. Later, activists Shebeer O.V. and Purushan Eloor of Janajagratha and Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samiti submitted a letter to the PCB saying that the polluted river showed the failure of the Board and its surveillance mechanisms.
The activists have made five specific requests. They said factories in the area should be made ‘zero discharge units’ within a year.
Secondly, a path should be created along the banks of the Periyar so as to enable monitoring by the community. Parallel to this monitoring path, a subsurface dyke — that can prevent the illegal dumping of waste into the Periyar by companies — should be built too.
The activists have also demanded that the waste pipes and stormwater drains of each company should be located in such a way that it is visible and well above the water level of the Periyar.
Lastly, online continuous monitoring systems of companies should be calibrated and the data should be linked with the website of the Central Pollution Control Board and made accessible to the public.
The letter by activists would be duly sent to the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, but it is not the PCB’s mandate to construct dykes or paths, said Sreelekshmi P.B., environmental engineer at Eloor. Data from online continuous monitoring systems of companies is already available on the Kerala State Pollution Control Board’s website, she added.