After salinity, it is alarming levels of pollution that is choking the river Periyar, the lifeline for the people and several major industries.
A study conducted by the `river keeper' for Greenpeace, points that over the last three weeks, the samples taken from the river showed ph (potential hydrogen) levels between three and six.
According to the report, the levels of dissolved oxygen, total alkali, chloride, nitrate, phosphate, total iron and fluoride were very high. The samples were drawn from four sites and over the last few days the colour of the water too had turned dark green with black oil at a few sites. There was the presence of faccal coliform bacteria in all the samples, said river keeper VJ Jose's report.
He attributed the rising level of pollution due to the discharges of sulphide and chloride mainly from the industries in the industrial estate nearby.
The samiti against pollution of the Periyar has said that despite sufficient proof, neither the Pollution Control Board nor the state government was doing anything to put a check on industries `spitting out' pollutants into the river. It was only a few years ago that the Periyar, the main source for drinking water in the city, witnessed fish death owing to pollutants.
The samiti would be presenting its reports during a sitting of the National Human Rights Commission on February 19.