Kochi: The Pathanamthitta district collector has banned the use of soap and oil while bathing at the holy Pamba river as an attempt to reduce pollution. “The order was issued last week. It has come to our notice that many people are even using shampoo while bathing in Pamba. Besides the pilgrims, other outside parties such as vendors and daily wage workers indulge in such practices,” district collector R Girija told DC.
A strict direction has been given to the police to enforce the ban. However, initially only warnings will be doled out to offenders. “We’ll analyse the situation and if the practice goes on unabated, then measures such as levying fine will be taken,” she said. Earlier the authorities have enforced a ban on disposing of clothes in the holy river, a practice followed by pilgrims especially from neighbouring states.