In Kerala, environmental activism is a booming business
In Kerala, environmental activism is a booming business to fill the pockets. The so-called efforts to save river Periyar is an example to the new kind of money making environmental activism.
The activities of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and individuals who claim to be protectors of the environment and self-proclaimed keepers of the river Periyar is targeting and tarnishing many industrial houses with money motive, says Baiju Menachery, journalist from Ernakulam, who recently published a series of articles touching upon the vexed issue.
The Periyar river flowing by the industrial area is classified under ‘E’ Category (Water designated for Industrial use) by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board ).
The activities of the Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi (PMVS) itself is doubtful in this regard. On perusal of the letter head of Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi (PMVS) shows that the organisation is registered in 2003.
The source of funds, the membership, the account of this organisation is not available even in the office of the district registrar before whom all such organisations are legally bound to file accounts, statements and periodical returns.
In spite of our best efforts, we have not been able to obtain any authentic information or documents regarding the legal existence of this organisation.
In an article in the Downtoearth.org, Purushan Eloor, the head of this organisation claims that his organisation was formed by the residents of Eloor and Edayar Village Panchayath affected by pollution.
First of all, there is no panchayat called the Edayar Village Panchayath. Purushan claims that about 3500 families are affected by pollution. How ever, he is not been able to provide any authentic records to substantiate his arguments.
Mean while, through the activities of the like organisations, the people who are residing at banks of the river Periyar are in panic.
A state of fear into the minds of the public by spreading misinformation about industrial units functioning in the Eloor-Edayar belt. It may be of interest to note that people living in a remote hamlet “Pindimana” are having more cases of cancer than people living near the Eloor-Edayar Industrial belt.
Our investigation has revealed that Purushan and his close associates Zakir Hussain and Anwar Eloor are conducting farming activities on the land belonging to one Ashkar (cultivation of plantains and other vegetables) very near to the Industrial Belt.
Purushan Eloor, when asked about his land first denies having any land. He then admits that he along with 11 friends acquired 4.29 Acres of land also that his wife owns about 64 cents of land at Wayanad. Our enquiries reveal that the eleven friends of Purushan are none other than a former member of the so called local-area monitoring committee and fact finding committee that were monitoring the polluting industries in the banks of river Periyar.
The resort is protected by electric fencing. Which activity in Wayanad requires so much protection? Do environmental activists like Purushan support installation of electric fencing? Can Purushan blame industries for investigation into his activities when he has a resort protected by electric fencing and openly admits his links with wanted Maoists like Roopesh and Shiny?
Purushan Eloor also alleges that the CMRL company is mainly accountable for polluting the Periyar river. Later, he admits that certain companies other than CMRL is accountable for polluting the Periyar river.
Our investigations revealed that CMRL is a zero waste company which falls on the non-Hazardous Category, and its products Ferrous and Ferric Chloride are chemicals used for treatment of drinking water. Ferric Chloride is nothing but Ferrous Chloride with additional Chlorine.
CMRL’s successful treatment at Njunangar (Pampa) was derailed on account of the relentless campaign by these pseudo environmentalists.
The Standing Council of Trade Unions (SCOTU) which is an apex body of mainline trade unions had filed a complaint before the Kerala State Government on the basis of various informations and documents gathered from various sources regarding the activities of certain pseudo environmentalists and their attempt to destabilize certain vital industries in Kerala.
The filing of this complaint has resulted in a vicious attack on SCOTU/ its office bearers alleging that SCOTU was a puppet at the hands of certain industrialists.
It is not a council formed only for acting as a mediator between industries and government for the smooth functioning of the factories throughout the state by ensuring adequate power availability. The fact that SCOTU has several prominent politicians, including state ministers shows the credibility of that organization.