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Chronic pollution in Eloor, Kerala, India


Eloor is a river island on the river Periyar around 17 kms from its mouth at the Arabian Sea near the city of Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala. It occupies an area of 11.21 square kilometers [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Chronic pollution in Eloor, Kerala, India
State or province:Kerala
Location of conflict:Kadungalloor
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Chemical industries
Specific commodities:Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Eloor supports the largest industrial belt in Kerala with over 247 chemical industries. There are more than 30 effluent pipes spewing toxins into the river directly from the industry. Air emissions range from acid mist to sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen Sulphide, Ammonia and Chlorine gas [1].

Project area:182109
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:40,000
Company names or state enterprises:Organo Fertilisers from India
Cee Jee Lubricants from India
FACT from India
Binani Zinc Ltd from India
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Development of alternatives:Remedial action must include all possible efforts to block the toxicity exposure routes of the local population:
1. Zero discharge on the river Periyar
2. Clean Production at Eloor should immediately be implemented.
3. Compensation and medically rehabilitation of pollution affected people.
4. Cleaning up of contaminated sites
5. Enforcement of the Environmental norms and laws.
6. The Companies and the Government must MAKE PUBLIC ALL INFORMATION regarding pollution, health risks, emergency preparedness and related dangers to local communities. Companies must ensure that all workers have access to their medical records.
7. Immediate punitive action need to be initiated by the Government on the companies that are poisoning the Communities and workers in the Industrial Estate and around.
8. The Companies must apologise to the affected people of Eloor and Cochin and accept complete responsibility and liability for their past actions.
These events must be taken up by the polluting companies and the Government [1]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court in June 2012 suggested that no polluting and chemical industries be allowed to be constructed in the Edayar-Eloor areas and a permanent check dam be built to prevent pollution of drinking water sources in the Periyar. The Bench directed the State government to express its views on these proposals.
The court felt that the government should not permit the starting of new chemical or polluting industries at any place east of Eloor-Edayar areas. The court was of the opinion that the government should not even allow any closed polluting industries to reopen. The Bench said that if a permanent check dam was constructed at Pathalam, it would prevent mixing of polluted water and salt water with the drinking water sources further east of Pathalam, although such construction would be expensive [5].
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Chronic pollution ails Eloor, Edayar
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[ 3]Thomas DR, Sunil B, Latha C. Physico- Chemical Analysis of Well Water at Eloor Industrial Area- Seasonal Study. Curr World Environ 2011:6;259-264.
[click to view]

[4] High level of contamination in Eloor-Edayar belt
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[5]Court suggests ways to prevent pollution of Periyar
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[6] Greens see red over Periyar river pollution in Kochi
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Pollution threat to the island of Eloor
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[1] Status of Human Health at the Eloor Industrial Belt, Kerala- India by Greenpeace India Assisted by the Occupational Health and Safety Centre-Mumbai. September, 2003 First Level Report
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

"writhing lungs"( pollution of eloor village at Eranakulam district).part 1 Director: nsj mohan
[click to view]

"Writhing lungs"( pollution of eloor village at Eranakulam district).part2 Director: nsj mohan (in Malayalam)
[click to view]

Other documents

Periyar discolouration Source :
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update03/05/2014
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