KOCHI: A Large number of fish dying in the streams and canals of Ettikkara and Kakkad has rendered the residents of these areas a worried lot. According to them, it’s the rampant pollution by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) that is causing these deaths.
“Pollution has always been a major concern in Ambalamugal-Puthencruz panchayat. There have been many people’s movements against the unrestrained violation of pollution control laws,” said Pramod Lukose, president of Ambalamugal South West Residents’ Association. Saturday’s fish deaths are an indication of how bad the situation is, he added.
Nearly all streams and minor canals associated with Periyar Valley Irrigation flow in or around the petrochemical company, said Pramod. “In this case, a major portion of the streams flow within the company’s walls and the water must have mixed with harmful chemicals, thereby suffocating the fishes to death,” said K K Ashok Kumar, vice-president, Ambalamugal-Puthencruz panchayat. These dead fishes are then picked off the surface of the streams by kites, he added.
The incident has happened at a time when the trial run of BPCL’s new project has just gotten under way. “We fear that the chemicals from the PDPP plant might even have seeped in through the underground water table and from there into the wells of nearby houses,” said Ashok. What’s even more unsettling is that these streams flow into Chitthirapuzha, which is a drinking water source.
“This plant has been built after filling up fields and streams. Adoor is surrounded by the company. The people here struggle with air, water and sound pollution, caused by the company,” said Ashok.
The District Pollution Control Board has collected samples. But a clear picture will emerge only after the results come. But as per its initial findings low water level and weed growth might have been a cause