periyar -- the river of life -- is dying a slow death. According to estimates, nearly 4,37,000 tonne of sand is being mined everyday. The on-going mining has caused the river to sink by 12 feet in the last seven years. And the river bed has been destroyed to a great extent.
The Periyar Protection Society ( pps ) says that only 2,730 tonne of sand accumulate daily and since the river bed is choked with clay, the sand carried by the river has no place to get deposited. The accumulated pollutants in the river are contaminating the water.
Indiscriminate mining has lowered the water level in wells because the river has become deeper. Periyar's water has turned salty because of salt water intrusion from the sea, as a result of upward pressure. Salt water is intruding into Aluva and chemicals injected into the river, are flowing into Kalady and Chowwara.
The pps suggests that the sand mining should be carried out at a distance of 10 metre from the river bank, so that the protective walls put up by the government are not damaged.
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