NGT steps in to check Periyar pollution [Environment]
The circuit bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered the inspection of all industrial units located on the banks of the Periyar river to check the feasibility of effluent treatment plants and to find out whether the effluents discharged into the river are within the prescribed parameter.
The NGT observed that it was “necessary in the interest of justice to direct a team headed by a senior officer of the Central Pollution Control Board and senior officers of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) to inspect all the industries situated on the banks of the Periyar, the quantum of sewage and the effluents generated as well as the efficacy of the effluent treatment plant and also whether the effluents being discharged into the river were within the prescribed parameters.”
The NGT observed that “nobody can dispute the precarious position of the Periyar for the last several years as a consequence of the lethargic attitude of the PCB as well as the utter violation of the pollution control measures by the industries on the banks of the Periyar.”
The panel also suggested that some drastic action was to be taken to restore the river to its pristine form, in a petition filed by K.K. Muhammed Iqbal.
The petitioner had approached the NGT with a prayer to direct Sree Sakthi Paper Mills Ltd, which was closed down for causing river pollution, to remove the plastic garbage heaped beside the Periyar, and to direct PCB officials to ensure the removal of the plastic waste.