NGT panel chief visits Periyar
Kochi: Justice (retd) A. V. Ramakrishna Pillai, chairman of the state level monitoring committee nominated by the National Green Tribunal, on Sunday, visited Periyar in the light of reported escalation in pollution.
Near Pathalam bund, stagnant water was found green in colour. Samples were collected from the river for analysis. The Kerala State Pollution Control Board chief environmental engineer M.A. Baiju and others were present.
The PCB officials explained that the board is continuously monitoring the industries along the Periyar banks and initiating strict action against violating industries.
The growth of algae on Friday was cited as the reason for the green colour due to the stagnation of river water and sufficient nutrients from sewage discharge. The officials said that the presence of algae leads to depletion of oxygen in the river, especially during night hours.
On Saturday Periyar at Pathalam was found black and the oxygen level was very low. The officials said the fishes were seen in the top layer due to decreased oxygen level.
The quality of water in the river is very low. The Pathalam regulator cum bridge is continuously closed which results in stagnation of river water. The dissolved oxygen level at morning was reported 1 mg/lit which is very less than required for aquatic life.
The obstruction of river flow and less quantity of water in the river are the major problems that cause depletion of oxygen. This condition may contribute to algal bloom which also results in fish death, officials told the Justice.
The officials said intimation was given to the district collector to issue necessary direction to the irrigation department to maintain the flow in Periyar to the maximum extent possible.
Justice Pillai informed that necessary direction would be given to the district collector in this regard. He directed PCB officials to continue surprise checks and take samples. Meanwhile, the district collector called a meeting of officials of PCB and others to review the situation on Monday.