Poisoned river

Published: Tuesday 15 September 1998

A RECENT study has established the presence of high concentration of toxic heavy metals in Chaliyar river in Kerala. The Kerala government has yet to implement the recommendations made by two committees on pollution in the river, which has been caused by Grasim Industries Ltd at Mavoor.

The latest study is authored by a team of eight scientists from the department of physics, University of Calicut and the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam. It has confirmed that "the concentrations of mercury and lead obtained downstream of the dumping point (of Grasim Industries) arc above the maximum limits according to the Indian standards".

The researchers have found many metals - oiercury, lead, nickel, cobalt, iron, chromium, zinc, copper - in very high concentrations in the samples taken during summer and the rainy season as well from Grasim's effluent point at Chungapally. This report comes in the wake of two earlier reports, whose findings are in sharp contrast to the claims made by the State Pollution Control Board and the company.

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