The State government has assured the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it will prepare a comprehensive action plan for the restoration of the Periyar river by February, 2021.
The southern bench of the tribunal, comprising Justice K. Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta, had asked the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary, Environment, in November to come up with a proper action plan against pollution of the river. The State Level Monitoring Committee on Solid Waste Management appointed by the tribunal had submitted a detailed report identifying the causes of pollution and the need to act swiftly against violators.
In a report filed before the tribunal, the Chief Secretary had pointed out that a comprehensive action plan for the Periyar would be evolved with the active participation of all the departments / authorities concerned. The government had sought time till February-end to prepare a comprehensive report.
The Periyar traverses through Idukki, Ernakulam, and Thrissur. The pollution of the river can be addressed comprehensively with the active cooperation of Industries, Irrigation and Local Self Government departments, and the State Pollution Control Board and the district administration, the report said.
The tribunal had made it clear that it was the responsibility of the government to put an end to the dumping of untreated sewage or effluents into the river by supporting local bodies to set up treatment plants. It had pointed out that dumping of effluents was a major cause for pollution of rivers.