Rs. 2.50 crore earmarked for building collection chambers

After having joined hands with voluntary organisations to launch a campaign to prevent pollution of the Uyyakondan canal a couple of months ago, Tiruchirapalli City Corporation has drawn up a plan to divert sewage drains flowing into the canal at various places.

The corporation has earmarked Rs. 2.50 crore in its Budget 2014-15 for preventing the flow of sewage into the canal. A few months ago, voluntary organisations such as Thaneer and Uyyakondan Protection Committee, had taken up a campaign to check pollution of the canal. The district administration and the corporation had joined the initiative.

Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani had then announced that the civic body had identified about 30 places where sewage flowed into the canal and steps would be taken to plug it. The civic body now plans to build collection chambers along the river from where the sewage would be diverted and pumped to the nearest pumping station of the underground drainage scheme.

This, officials said, would effectively prevent flow of sewage into the canal. The sewage would be subject to a primary treatment at the collection chambers to filter the silt, city engineer R.Chandran said. The collection cambers are to be built between Kasthuripuram and Ariyamangalam.

The Uyyakondan canal originates from the Cauvery near Pettavaithalai and traverses about 69 kilometres up to Vazhavanthankottai tank, but is subject to heavy urban pollution, especially between Puthur and Senthaneerpuram. The 1,000-year-old canal built by Raja Raja Cholan and renovated by Kulothunga Cholan has an ayacut of 32,000 acres.

Major open drains flow into the canal between Cantonment and Ariyamangalam apart from a number of small drains carrying sewage from hotels, commercial establishments, and houses. An open drain carrying sewage from Mahatma Gandhi Government Memorial Hospital also flows into it near Puthur.

In a recent representation, S.Pushpavanam, secretary, Consumer Protection Council, had drawn the attention of the Health Secretary to the hospital sewage being let out into the Uyyakondan canal through an open drain. This, he said, was against all norms of pollution control, and called for immediate action.

Sources in the corporation said that the civic body, in response to an application seeking new underground drainage connections for the GH, has advised the hospital authorities to treat their water before discharge. The hospital, the sources said, had a couple of UGD connections already and new connections were sought following the construction of new blocks.