Rubber unit found discharging effluent into Periyar

A rubber processing unit in Edayar has been found responsible for the illegal discharge of effluent into the Periyar.

The preliminary investigation carried out by the State Pollution Control Board showed that the crumb rubber unit made an unauthorised discharge through a pipeline into the nearby land. This caused the discharge into the river. A long stretch of oil patch near the Pathalam regulator-cum-bridge had triggered concerns among local residents and environmentalists on Saturday. They had stated that the illegal discharge would have come from industrial units. The board had taken samples from the river to ascertain the source of contamination.

Senior board officials said that action will be taken against the unit as per the report prepared by its Environment Surveillance Centre in Eloor. The analysis results of the samples will also be taken into account before deciding on the measures to be taken against the suspected unit.

The board will serve notice on the management asking why environment compensation should not be recovered for the illegal discharge into the river in violation of the Environment Protection Act and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.

The board has found that the effluent treatment facility in the unit was not functioning as per norms. Huge quantity of water is required for processing. The water used should be treated as per the norms prescribed by the board for subsequent reuse. As the treatment facilities remain defunct, the unit is suspected to have discharged untreated water into the nearby land located close to the river.

Local residents have asked the board to step up vigil over the lack of safety wall or systems to check the discharge of effluent into the river. Such illegal discharges have become common in the rainy season, they said.

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