Water from canals mixed with sewerage used for bathing, irrigation

Ignorance is not bliss at all times; consequences erupt out of the blue. This is evidently the situation people living in localities and villages downstream of the three irrigation canals passing through Manachanallur town are in.

The canals fed by the Upper Anicut are basically meant to irrigate several hundreds of acres at Porathakudi, Pullambadi and Anbil areas. But, water from the canals where sewerage finds its way due to the apparent failure of the drainage system in the town is what is being used by people living downstream for bathing and washing clothes, and, of course, for irrigating the fields.

On Monday, drain water was seen being pumped into one of the three canals leading to the Pullambadi irrigation tank by sanitary workers of the selection-grade town panchayat. They were into the task of clearing the clog in the drainage canal connected through underground pipes to another canal named Panguni Vaikal.

The raised bunds for the Pullambadi canal are a nightmare for the residents in the vicinity, particularly those in Mela Agraharam.

As the level of the drainage canal is low, sewerage gets mixed up with rain water and stagnates on the road. Just one hour of rains will cause inundation of main road leading to Thuraiyur from Tiruchi with sewerage-mixed rain water, rendering it un-motorable for at least a few subsequent hours.

“The drainage canal traversing through the town narrows down when it gets close to the irrigation canal. Moreover, the level of the road and the drainage canal being the same, sewerage gets mixed with rain water that stagnates in front of several homes. The dirtied water even enters several houses. “Whenever it rains, we have to keep standing on benches and chairs in our house,” said Sekar, a resident of Keela Agraharam.

“Due to the low level of the roadside drainage, soil falling constantly into it causes silt formation frequently. Seriousness is lacking on the part of the civic body to ensure proper hygiene conditions for people living in areas close to the irrigation canals,” according to Paramasivam, a taxi driver in the area.

“During rainy days, waves created by heavy vehicles passing through waist-deep water enter our houses. The situation is hopeless for residents of Mela Agraharam,” according to Padmanaban, a retired teacher, and his neighbour Santhanam, who have been residents of Mela Agraharam for over four decades.

The local body, a selection-grade town panchayat, is as much helpless.

“We are trying to do our best. The drainage was laid decades ago, and the immediate priority is to set right the clog in the passage to prevent sewerage from spilling on to the road. A plan for raising the height of the drainage canal was devised a few years ago, but had to be abandoned due to the costs involved,” said an official of the local body.

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