KOCHI: Pollution and the shrinking of backwaters have been adversely affecting the fish wealth of Periyar, experts pointed out on Thursday.
At a one-day seminar organised by the Kerala Grama Swaraj Foundation on ‘Periyar and Drinking Water of Kochi,’ environmental experts reiterated their concerns over the impact of pollution on Periyar.
“Apart from small streams, the flow of Periyar is also being interrupted affecting the quality of drinking water distributed in Kochi. Periyar is the primary source of potable water supplied in the city. However, various studies have show that Kochiites have consumed saline water around 50 times over the past ten years. In addition to saline water, the drinking water also gets contaminated by chemical effluents dumped into the river,” said Kochi University former registrar N Chandramohan Kumar, and warned that water contamination would create serious health hazards among city residents in future.
Shrinking of the backwaters is another major issue being faced by the Periyar.
“As a result, the fish population has dwindled considerably. Industrial pollution has caused destruction of the natural habitat of fish. Traditional fish varieties like pearlsport and tilapia are the worst affected,” said CMFRI scientist Dr Kripa. K J Maxi MLA, who inaugurated the seminar, urged the public to chalk out an action plan to curb pollution. “The Pollution Control Board should work hand-in-hand with the general public to formulate and implement the plan. The Government has already extended support to the efforts,” he added.
The meeting was presided over by Kerala Grama Swaraj Foundation state general secretary V D Majendran.