Case Filed Against Pvt Company for Polluting Periyar River in Kerala

Periyar River

A case has been filed against a private company for allegedly polluting the Periyar River near Kochi. This action comes weeks after environmental activists and locals protested against the purported illegal discharge of chemical effluents into the waterbody, which posed a threat to its biodiversity.

According to sources, the state Pollution Control Board (PCB) has issued a notice to the institution, one of several companies located on the banks of the Periyar River, after detecting the violation during a recent patrol.

Police and the PCB have taken a firm stance against the company amidst a heated dispute over the recent mass death of fish in the Periyar River.

Public Protest

Last month, dead fish were discovered floating in large numbers in fish farms across panchayats such as Varapuzha, Kadamakkudy, and Cheranalloor near Kochi, prompting widespread protests by fish farmers, locals, environmental activists, and political parties.

A police officer stated that a case was filed against the company following a complaint from Shabeer, a local environmental activist.
“A case was filed for releasing effluents into the water body and polluting it. “IPC Sections 269 and 277 were used against it,” he stated.
IPC 269 refers to a negligent act that is likely to spread disease and endanger life, whereas IPC 277 refers to fouling water in a public spring or reservoir.

Investigation and Government Response

According to sources, authorities and activists have been patrolling the industrial zone along the banks of the Periyar for some time.
When the river turned black early this week, they conducted an investigation and discovered that the company’s waste deposit was the cause.

Following criticism from residents and opposition parties, the Kerala government convened a meeting last month to devise long and short-term measures to prevent the deaths of thousands of fish in the Periyar river.
Environmental activists and locals claimed that authorities were not taking strong enough action against factories that allegedly discharged chemical effluents into the river.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte