Volunteers removed silt from the tank a few months ago

Discharge of effluents into the Ukkadam Big Tank was polluting the water there and also affecting the groundwater, said Vanitha Mohan, Managing Trustee, Siruthuli. The effluents entered the tank through the two inlet pipes on the northern side of the tank and they were from the dyeing units in Telugupalayam and Selvapuram.

The effluents’ entry was the undoing of the good work the citizens of Coimbatore had done sometime ago by removing silt from the tank and cleaning its bed. If there was no fresh discharge of effluents, the fresh waters that flowed into the tank would have diluted the existing polluted water and made things better.

But now things were going from bad to worse.

Ms. Mohan said that when environmentalists had taken up the issue with the Mayor S.M. Velusamy sometime in July 2013, there was some relief in that the discharge had stopped. But it had again stopped. The Corporation, as the custodian of the tank, must ensure that there was no inflow of effluents.

On the southern side also the water was getting polluted because of the dumping of solid waste by the residents of Anna Colony, Muthu Colony and Cheran Nagar Eri Oram areas. It was also because of their open defecation on the tank’s bund.

Shahul Hameed of Cheran Nagar said that the residents were forced to dump waste and defecate there because they lacked basic amenities. After representation to the Coimbatore Corporation, the civic body had begun constructing toilets, but the numbers were found inadequate. Given the population, the residents needed more.

The residents had also sought bins to dump solid waste but the civic body was yet to provide those, he said. They had demanded three bins.

If such basic amenities were provided, the residents could to a large extent avoid polluting the water, he added.

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