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House panel visits Pampa

By Our Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA, JAN. 25. The Assurance Committee of the State Legislature has maintained that in the prevailing circumstances, the possibility of implementing the Pampa Action Plan is remote.

Talking to presspersons here after a visit to Pampa on the foothills of Sabarimala today, the committee chairman, Binoy Viswam, said the condition of the Pampa river was pathetic. The committee visited various points where the river is facing grave pollution on account of the flow of filth accumulated during last pilgrim season.

Mr. Binoy said that today's mission of the committee was to take stock of the condition of the river and to see what measures the authorities had taken on the basis of the Government's assurance in the Assembly way back in 1998 for the conservation of the river and its tributaries.

Review meeting

The committee convened a meeting of various departments, representatives of the Travancore Devaswom Board and other stakeholders to review the steps being taken by each one of them to keep the assurance of the Government in the Assembly.

The response of the officials at the meeting showed the lack of coordination among them. The official representing the Water Resources Department stressed the need for concerted effort by the departments for implementing the Pampa Action Plan.

The committee also mooted steps for filing a joint affidavit by the departments of Forests, Water Resources as well as the Devaswom Board before the High Court, seeking permission to utilise the forest land for implementing the 11-important pollution abatement scheme at Sabarimala and surrounding areas as part of the Action Plan on a war-footing.

The committee blamed the Water Resources Department for not carrying out the proposal for launching an awareness campaign in the river basin, despite the allotment of Rs.20 lakhs for the same.

The panel members, Stephen George, K.V. Kunjumon, C.V. Chandran, A.D. Mustafa and T.P.M. Sahir, the District Collector, Rabeendra Kumar Agarwal, the TDB chief engineer, K. Ravikumar, and the TDB liaison officer (Forests), Rajendrababu, attended the meeting.

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