Bid by TUs to upset Periyar plan: Greens

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The Greens are up in arms against the trade unions’ alleged bid to torpedo the River Protection Authority, which was proposed by the environmentalists and agreed to by the state government.

The Greens have already insisted that a serving or retired judge of a High Court be the chairman of the authority while the unions want an “officer with sufficient experience in the science, technology and management of environment protection, water management and allied disciplines”, as managing director or director of the authority.

N. Ramachandran, secretary of the Association for Environmental Protection (AEP), Aluva, said the AEP had already proposed a River Authority and River Board and had submitted the draft of the same to the state government.

Chief minister Oommen Chandy is also interested in forming such an authority for the protection of not only the Periyar but the rest of the 43 rivers in the state.

Ramachandran said that by influencing the appointment of the head of the authority, the trade unions, egged on by the heads of industries, are trying to influence the outcome of this move. “The rest of the matter is ancillary and our draft is a well-thought out one”, he said.

“The move by the trade unions to come out with another draft at this hour has to be viewed with suspicion. Already a trade union leader is present in the Kerala State Pollution Control Board who is the panchayat president of Kadungalloor and everybody knows what he’s doing to protect the Periyar”, said Ramachandran alleging that the unions are hand in glove with the polluting industries where their members are employed.

“One of the major issues faced by the Periyar is pollution from industrial units apart from sand mining and the unions are trying to deflect attention from this big menace caused by the industries in the Eloor-Edayar belt”, said Ramachandran.

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