Private company booked for polluting Periyar river in Kerala

A case has been registered against a private company for allegedly polluting Periyar river near Kochi weeks after protests by environmental activists and locals against the alleged illegal discharge of chemical effluents into the waterbody, which posed a threat to the biodeiversity in it.
The polluting factories along the river bed of Periyar
The polluting factories along the river bed of Periyar

Kochi | A case has been registered against a private company for allegedly polluting Periyar river near Kochi weeks after protests by environmental activists and locals against the alleged illegal discharge of chemical effluents into the waterbody, which posed a threat to the biodeiversity in it.

The state Pollution Control Board also reportedly slapped a notice on the institution, one among the several companies located on the banks of Periyar river here, after the violation was detected during their recent patrolling, sources said.

Police and the PCB adopted the tough stand against the firm amidst a raging row over the recent mass death of fish in Periyar river.

Kochi had witnessed widespread protests by fish farmers, local people, environmental activists and political parties after dead fish were found floating in large numbers in fish farms across panchayats such as Varapuzha, Kadamakkudy, and Cheranalloor near here last month A police officer said a case was registered against the company based on a complaint from Shabeer, a local environment activist.

"The case was registered for releasing effluents in the water body and polluting it. IPC Sections 269 and 277 were invoked against it," he said.

IPC 269 refers to negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life while IPC 277 refers to fouling water of public spring or reservoir.

According to sources, the authorities and activists have been patrolling the industrial area along the banks of Periyar for some time.

When the colour of the river turned black early this week, they carried out a search and found that the company's waste deposit was the reason.

After facing flak from the residents and opposition parties, the Kerala government had last month held a meeting and worked out long and short term measures to prevent recurrence of the death of thousands of fish in the Periyar river.

Environmental activists and local people had alleged that authorities were not taking stringent measures against the factories that allegedly discharge chemical effluents into the river.

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