Waste water from residential colonies causes pollution

One half of the Kurichi Canal is clean, free of silt and appears ready to carry the water from River Noyyal to the Kurichi Tank. The other half carries sewage from the nearby residential colonies. The place where sewage flows is filled with knitwear waste. The embankment is also full of waste – debris, plastics, etc.

The state of the Canal has upset environmentalists, who say that if the Coimbatore Corporation and the Public Works Department do not do something about it, the entire Tank – spread over 375 acres – will carry polluted water.

Corporation drain

S. Mohamed Rafi of the Aam Aadmi Party says that the inflow of sewage into the Canal is the problem. And, the water flows from a host of residential colonies in Kuniamuthur through the Corporation drain. The Corporation should not let the sewage flow into the drain.

The inflow of sewage is a six-month-old problem, says S. Manohar, a resident of the nearby Bharathi Nagar.

The Public Works Department, when taking up the Canal cleaning work, had attempted to arrest the flow of sewage by constructing a concrete block at the mouth of the sewage outlet. But it had to remove the same following intervention by the area Councillor Kannammal Mayilvanan (Ward 87) and a few others.

Ms. Mayilvanan was not available for comment.

V. Indra, a resident of Aadhi Sakthi Nagar, says that the inflow of sewage into the Kurichi Canal has polluted the ground water. The water in the well at her nearby farm has turned black and is polluted. It is the well water she uses for domestic purposes as well.

G. Prabhu, also a resident, says that mosquito menace has increased, thanks to the sewage in the Canal.

The residents say that when the PWD arrested the flow of sewage by constructing the concrete block at the mouth of the drain and then removed it, the Councillor had assured them that it was only a temporary measure to prevent inundation of Bharathi Nagar, Vasantha Nagar, Kunrinji Nagar and a few other residential localities. But in the eight months since the removal of the concrete block, nothing but sewage has flowed through the drain.

Umesh Marudachalam, a Kurichi resident, says that if the sewage mixes with the Noyyal water that enters the Kurichi Tank, groundwater in the entire Kurichi area will get polluted.

The Corporation must ensure that the Ward 87 residents have a proper sewage disposal facility and the PWD must ensure that the Canal is free of pollution, he adds.

Sources in the PWD say that they had cleaned only 50 per cent of the 3.50 km Canal because of the shortage of funds. This was in March this year. Once the Government allocates more funds they will clean the remaining 1.75 km stretch.

Pollution

Corporation Commissioner G. Latha says that the Corporation has not enabled the pollution of the Kurichi Canal by constructing the drain. The Corporation has constructed the storm water drain, which is supposed to take rainwater from roads and open spaces to the nearest water body or canal – in this case the Kurichi Canal.

But the residents of the area have misused the storm water drain as a sewerage system. It is in the misuse that the problem lies. Nevertheless, the Corporation will comprehensively study the problem and act immediately, given the environmental impact of what is happening.

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