Garbage generated within Bhavani Municipal limits ends up on the banks of River Bhavani, causing irreversible damage to the environment.
Over 20 tonnes of waste, including plastic, generated in the municipality is dumped on the banks of the river every day. River Bhavani is one of the tributaries of River Cauvery, which is a lifeline for lakhs of farmers in the State. The municipality's indifferent act has come as a shock to the residents, farmers and environmental activists.
“The civic administration is supposed to prevent others from polluting the river. If the municipality starts polluting the river, private organisations will not hesitate to harm the environment,” R. Ramakrishnan, a senior citizen, points out.
The alarming levels of pollutants in the rivers in the district had already driven many farmers to change their occupation. “We have been fighting for years to protect River Cauvery and its tributaries from the textile and tannery units. The municipal officials, instead of fighting along with us, are deliberately polluting the river,” C. Mariappan, a farmer said.
“It appears that the officials in the municipality have decided to ignore the laws and regulations on preserving the environment and had given the go ahead for turning the river into a dump,” S. Palanisamy, a teacher alleged.
The dumping of garbage had begun after Collector T. Soundiah visited the town and instructed the officials to prevent the people and commercial establishments from polluting the river.
When asked, Municipal Commissioner in-charge S. Palanisamy said, “We do not have a proper compost yard for dumping the garbage. So we have no choice but to dump the garbage on the banks of the river.”
No compost yard
The municipality had acquired 10 acres of land for the construction of dump yard in Punnam village. “Due to strong opposition from the villagers, we could not start the work,” Mr. Palanisamy said.