Protest in a boat to save Periyar in Kerala
The activists did not let Irrigation Department officials open the shutters, which would have endangered their lives
In a unique mode of protest, six local activists took a country boat to the middle of the Periyar in Kochi of Kerala and remained there for nearly 24 hours on Sunday, in protest against the raising of shutters of the Pathalam regulator-cum-bridge and rising contamination in the river.
Deputy Collector (Disaster Management) KB Babu visited the spot on Sunday evening and gave instructions to test water samples from upstream and downstream of the regulator.
The move was as per the District Collector’s directions to set up a local pollution monitoring committee that will have representatives from the Pollution Control Board, Irrigation Department and environmental experts from the area.
The protesters were requested to row back to the bank. However, the strike will continue on the river bank.
The six had taken the country boat to the middle of the river on Saturday evening as a mark of protest against raising of the shutters of the Pathalam bund that would allow polluted water to flow into the sea while those responsible for polluting the river would go scot-free. The activists did not let Irrigation Department officials open the shutters, which would have endangered their lives, The Hindu reported.
The Periyar had turned blackish over the past several days and the local activists had been raising a furore over the issue.