One of the biggest 'serious joke'of my time is the slogan 'Save river Periyar', which is highly polluted by the industries on the banks of this river. As the name indicates, 'Periyar' in the local language Malayalam indicates BIG RIVER, and that is getting polluted to the core. The local bodies are making a feeble voice in isolation, which is never heard by those in power. As a common man, I have to suspect a nexus between the culprits and those in power, and they fool the general public, and there is a pattern for it. I am witnessing this fooling around for the past three decades at least. The pattern is like this.
- Some newspaper will report the change in color of water in the river or a case where fishes are dying due to unknown reason.
- An agency will be appointed to make a report.
- Preparation of the report will take an year, and by that time the public has forgotten the incident
- Then a new incident will happen
This fooling the public cycle has been going on for the past 3 decades, at the cost of the entire Kerala. Those who are staying in the coastal area are affected by deadly diseases like cancer and skin diseases. Even when surrounded by water, they do not have drinking water. The fish from this poisonous water is consumed by the locals as well as those from the Kochi city. Governments after Governments were inactive on this issue. Companies which manufacture deadly poisons like DDT (which is banned elsewhere) are located on the banks of this river and some of them are pumping their waste into this river and as a 'developed nation', we are unable to locate those underwater pipes they have laid to pump pollutants into the river...what a pity. There is a local saying which is very true in this case 'You can wake up some one from sleep, but you cannot wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep'. In this case the concerned authorities are pretending to be asleep. It needs active and united actions from the citizens to put an end to it. I recollect the words of Pius chettan....'മോനെ ഒരു കേസ് കൊടുത്തുകൂടെ' (Son, why cant you file a case).