As with many of India’s waterways, the Periyar river of Kerala in southwest India is under constant threat from pollution. Towards the mouth of the river, the levels of pollution are staggering, with the habitat packed with lethal toxins such as DDT, lead, cyanide and mercury.
The pollution comes from industry, agriculture and domestic waste. It is devastating aquatic habitats as well as posing a health risk.
It seems the authorities are doing little about the problem, with environmentalists claiming the Kerala Pollution Control Board is not even bothering to take proper samples when serious pollution is reported.
Water pollution does more than make the river smell bad. It wrecks ecosystems and livelihoods and is not something to be ignored.
Tell the state government to get serious about curbing water pollution.
We the undersigned ask that you take decisive action to curb the pollution entering the Periyar River and elsewhere in Kerala. Water pollution of the scale reported in the Periyar is a serious hazard to aquatic ecosystems and the people who depend upon them, as well as being a major human health risk.
Toxins from industry, agriculture and domestic waste poison river wildlife while nutrients from the same sources promote algal blooms, depleting the water of oxygen. It has also been reported that the river contains unacceptably high levels of pathogens, rendering it a health hazard.
Because of the social, environmental and economic urgency of controlling water pollution, this is not an issue that can be ignored or put on the back burner until a more convenient time. Action is needed now, notably on monitoring water quality properly and regulating industrial activities in the area, and we urge you to take it.
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