KOCHI: The Periyar river turned dark brown near the Pathalam regulator on Tuesday, amidst growing concerns of water contamination.Environmentalists alleged that the colour of water changed due to excessive discharge of pollutants from an industrial unit functioning in the area.
“The water started turning dark brown around 10 am. We suspect it was caused by discharge of pollutants from a nearby industrial unit,” said Muhammad Iqbal, a member of Eloor-based Jana Jagratha Samithi.
The lower reaches of Periyar are often referred to as a toxin-filled cesspool. Lack of oxygen in water has caused fish-kills more than 25 times in the past two years. According to experts, the black water suggests a drop in the dissolved oxygen content in the water, a condition that severely impacts ecology of the stream.
Officials of the Kerala Pollution Control Board (KPCB) confirmed that the colour of river along the Pathalam stretch had changed on multiple occasions. “In the last one month, the colour of water changed more than once, and we are looking into it,” said KPCB environmental engineer Thrideep Kumar M P.
The latest incident comes hardly two months after a team from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) inspected industrial units on the banks of the Periyar. The inspection was carried out following an order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), based on a petition filed by the Green Action Force and Jan Jagratha Samithi.