Amid the state government’s efforts to rejuvenate and reclaim water sources, a study has come up with a startling finding that 26.90 per cent of water sources in Kerala are “completely” polluted.
As many as 46.10 per cent of over 3000 water sources, including ponds, canals, river and backwater stretches and public wells, surveyed in 2003 wards across the southern state, are “partly polluted,” it said. However, in a relief to nature buffs, another 27 per cent of water sources are found unpolluted, the study, compiled by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA), said. “As many as 26.90 per cent of water sources in Kerala are completely polluted,” the study said.
‘A Study Report on Status of Water Resource’ has covered 3606 water sources, including 495 in capital district Thiruvananthapuram, 318 in Ernakulam, the commercial hub of the state, and 194 in northern Kozhikode district. KSLMA Director P S Sreekala said the study report was compiled as part of its environmental literacy programme to realise LDF government’s goals to create a nature-friendly state. The study assumes significance against the backdrop of water scarcity being faced by the state which may worsen in the future, she said.
The official also said the core objective of the initiative was to create awareness in society about the significance of protecting and rejuvenating natural and public water sources. As part of the study, 1302 ponds, 941 canals, 153 river stretches, 16 backwater stretches, 1107 public wells and 87 others in various districts were surveyed. Throwing light on the factors that pollute water sources, it said solid and liquid waste, household waste besides encroachments were the core reasons for it.
Solid waste accounts for 53 per cent of pollution of water sources, liquid waste 16.97 per cent, household waste 23.24 per cent and encroachment seven per cent, it said. Among solid waste, hotel waste accounted for 40 per cent of pollution, while plastic and glass 20 per cent and other wastes 30.55 per cent, it said.
Cleaning of vehicles and bathing of animals also caused water pollution, it said, adding, sand mining, the absence of protective wall and encroachment are posing threat to water sources. The CPI(M)-led LDF government had launched comprehensive programmes to reclaim the lost water sources and rejuvenate the dying ones.
To realise the goal, a separate initiative was launched under the title ‘Haritha Keralam Mission’. The initiative envisages a clean and green state through waste management, organic farming and conservation of water resources with people support.