Kochi: The Periyar River again turned black near the Pathalam Regulator cum Bridge on Wednesday. Environmental activists alleged that the colour-change is due to excessive discharge of pollutants from the industrial units functioning in the area.
The State Pollution Control Board officials said that the discolouration has occurred two days ago and they had collected samples for detailed checking. “The present change in colour is because of the turbid flow of the water from the opening of the bund. Actually it has occurred two days back. We have taken the samples and sent to the laboratory in Ernakulam. It will take a few more days to get the result. The change in colour that occurred two days ago is being subsided,” said P.B. Sreelakshmi, district environment engineer, PCB.
The Pathalam bund was opened on Tuesday. She said that the river flow should not be restricted by closing the bund so that the natural pollutants will flow away from the water. However, activists alleged that if the bund is opened, the contaminants will flow down polluting the downstream areas.
“The colour change happened in the upstream and the discharge point of the industrial units which are facing the allegations is at the downstream. The colour change should have occurred at the downstream if it was the reason,” she said.
However, the activists alleged that it was the excessive discharge of pollutants from an unauthorized industrial unit functioning upstream. “The discharge is unauthorized and we had earlier reported it directly to the officials. We have also asked the PCB to track the industrial unit which discharged the pollutants and slap them with fine. But nothing has changed,” an environmental activist said.
The discolouration of Periyar and fish kill has been a serious issue for last couple of years. Decrease in dissolved oxygen level has caused several fish-kills in the past few years.