Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Environment

Polluted Pampa crying for attention

G.K. Nair

A view of the Pampa river in Pampa.

Kochi , Feb. 2

INADEQUATE sewage disposal and sanitation facilities coupled with very thin water flow in the Pampa river during the recently concluded Sabarimala pilgrim season have raised the coliform bacteria level in the river water to 3.2 lakh in 100 ml of water.

Anticipating such a worst situation, the Union Ministry of Environments and Forests (MoEF) had accepted the Pampa Action Plan (PAP) in principle in 2001 and the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) had sanctioned Rs 320 crore, 70 per cent of it to be borne by the Centre.

To start with the first phase, NRCD has already approved Rs 18.45 crore and had sanctioned the Centre's (70 per cent) share of Rs 12.90 crore, Mr N.K. Sukumaran Nair, General Secretary, Pampa Samrakshana Samithi (PSS), told Business Line.

The State Government, he said, had issued an order on November 18, 2003 for implementing the first phase of the PAP under which seven schemes would be implemented by the Travancore Devaswom Board, three by the Irrigation Department and one by the Kerala Water Authority. It was also decided to constitute a monitory committee headed by the Water Resources Principal Secretary.

But the implementation of the project is moving at a snail's pace, Mr Nair said. Given the alarming situation and the lacklustre approach of the authorities, the PSS had conducted a seminar at Kozhencherry in Pathanamthitta district on January 16 - 17, attended by the Public Enterprises Selection Board Chairman, Mr T.K.A. Nair, and the PSS Vice-President, Dr Thomas P. Thomas. The participants had urged the Government to set up a Pampa River Basin Authority for implementing the PAP, given the various technical, scientific, economical and social issues involved.

For this, the Government might have to enact a law apart from constituting a monitoring committee by bringing in representatives of environmental organisations and from the local self-government bodies, Mr Nair said.

The implementation of the project on a war-footing is inevitable as millions of pilgrims from all over the country visit Sabarimala every year and the next pilgrim season would begin on November 17.

Congregation of very large number of people in a limited area within the forest for a limited period exerts enormous pressure on the environment. All pilgrims are customarily used to have a dip in this holy river. The pilgrims use the river for all their requirements.

The large number of hotels and shops during the season discharge huge volume of both liquid and solid wastes into the river directly or indirectly. All these pollute the river beyond limits, affecting the health of not only the pilgrims but also the residents on the banks of the river downstream, Mr Nair pointed out.

Therefore, implementation of the first phase of the work at a faster pace assumes importance, he said. It is imperative that water quality of Pamba river be improved/upgraded in its entire stretch not only for the benefit of pilgrims but also for improving water quality in the downstream stretches, especially in the water logged areas of Kuttanad and Vembanadu lake.

In fact, the water quality monitoring done by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, as per the directions of the High Court, had brought to light the urgent need for an action plan for cleaning up the river, Mr Nair said.

The development of agriculture, urbanisation associated with industrialisation, piped water supply in rural areas without facilities for safe disposal of night soil and solid waste, etc, are all going to contribute significantly to the pollution load of the river.

Evaluation had been made to identify the major sources of pollution from towns and panchayats and plans had been chalked out for controlling and eliminating these pollution sources, he said. One of the worst hit areas would be the Kuttanad where majority of the inhabitants depend mainly on this river for potable water, Mr Nair added.

More Stories on : Environment | Water | Kerala

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
ISACA wing bags award

Opening the door for more goodies?
Devolution formula must reward States, says Jayalalithaa
IBRD to study Karnataka's development models
`Perception panel' to spruce up Bengal image
Recapture CIS markets, engineering exporters told
Machine tools sector too goes for outsourcing
Polluted Pampa crying for attention
English Indian Clays told to fix pollution problem
Rolling back of customs duty — Picture tube makers fear inverted duty structure
Chile keen on selling wine to India
`India will benefit more in the post-quota period'
Hong Kong woos Indian investment
`Romania will be happy to be a gateway'
Trauma care centres on highways mulled
Transco may buy 620 m.u. to meet power shortfall
CERC orders `free' transmission line availability
REC to fund Bengal thermal project expansion
Shipping cos make most of freight market boom
`More consolidation in steel sector imminent'
Scrap penalty for delay in service tax payment, says PHD Chamber
Karnataka Mayors' plea
JC Penney to increase textile outsourcing from India
Linking cotton yarn price with export `not correct', says SIMA
TT Services to launch Visa support services for New Zealand
Hyundai emerges as second biggest exporter
Centre plans stringent norms for food products — PFA Act amendment on cards
Global Hospitals to expand
Building expo in Delhi from Feb 18
`Duty sops to import copper cathodes may hit small units'
ISRO for info kiosks
KFCC threat to stop film production
MNC drug cos ready to swallow pill
Role of NGOs hailed
Centre gives nod for Coimbatore industrial cluster project
Power centre
Petronet Dahej plant to be commissioned on Feb 9
`Tex Spares 2004' to hold business meet on wind energy
Granite expo
Traditional products pull down H1 export growth
Duty-free credit entitlement certificate route norms relaxed — Service providers allowed to import `any' capital goods
Chhattisgarh paves way for pvt. role in tourism

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line