The writer finds that the people, particularly students, can’t resist the temptation of jumping into the Cauvery throwing all caution to the winds.
Cases of drowning in the Cauvery and the Coleroon rivers have continued unabated over the past few months with the latest ones reported at Melur in Srirangam and in Thanjavur on Tuesday. Many victims who met with watery grave in Tiruchi and neighbouring Thanjavur and Karur districts were students making the instances even more tragic. The last eight months have seen over 20 people drown in the three districts along which flow the Cauvery and the Coleroon.
The death of four persons, including a mother and a daughter, and a 11-year-old boy who drowned at Perugamani along the Tiruchi – Karur national highway in April –end was the first major case in Tiruchi district this year.
They were part of a group from Savarimedu village in Nangavaram in Karur district who had come to take a holy dip in the river before proceeding to a temple when tragedy struck.
Months later, another major tragedy occurred — this time on the ‘Adi Perukku’ festival day at Nerur in Karur district where three persons, including two brothers aged 17 and 15, drowned in the Cauvery when they went to have a bath.
This was immediately followed by another case at Manjakorai near Gunaseelam where three persons on their way to a temple got caught in the strong currents in the Cauvery and drowned.
A couple of incidents were reported at Mukkombu, a popular picnic spot near Tiruchi, where two boys met a watery grave after getting trapped in quick sand on different occasions.
The Grand Anicut in Thanjavur district was witness to a case wherein three college students of Tiruchi drowned in the Coleroon in August after they got caught in the whirl and drowned. In another incident, two engineering students drowned in the Vennar at Thenperambur in Thanjavur district.
In one case, the victim was a fire fighter who drowned trying to rescue a cow that got washed away in the Cauvery a few days ago in Srirangam.
Frequent incidents of deaths because of drowning are a definite cause for concern. The pleasant sight of water flow in the Cauvery draws people many of whom unaware of the strong currents and the depth get trapped in the whirl and drown, say police sources.
Police say regular beats were being marched at Mukkombu to patrol on the Mukkombu and Vathalai sides adding that extra manpower strength was being deployed on weekends at the picnic spot.
Caution boards had been installed at the spot to alert tourists about the hazard of going beyond that point.