Senthaneerpuram residents cry foul over unrestrained pig rearing

Even as the Tiruchi Corporation Council is dithering over introducing a licensing system to restrict rearing of cattle and other domestic animals in the city, the stray pig menace is driving residents of Senthaneerpuram, Sangiliandapuram, and Ariyamangalam areas to their wits end.

Both Senthaneerpuram and Ariyamangalam are notorious for the large scale pig rearing in the city. The innumerable open drains in these backward areas, lacking in adequate civic amenities, the Uyyakondan Channel and the Bell’s ground near the Railway tracks in Senthaneerpuram are the favourite haunts for the pigs.

At Senthaneerpuram, children and even adults defecate in the open alongside the Railway tracks even as droves of pigs rummage through swamps of sewage and garbage dumped there.

“Women of the area face the biggest problem as the pigs often come to rummage through the garbage dumped around. Droves of pig roam around the streets and by-lanes and very often they stray right in front of the houses. During the nights, especially during the power cuts, we run the danger of stepping on a pig right in front of our houses,” complains S.Padmavathi, a resident of Senthaneerpuram. Coupled with the mosquito menace, children often fall sick with fever and other illness, women of the area complain, she says.

Many residents say that some pigsties are located near the four-road junction in Senthaneerpuram, but are mostly let out to roam in the open. Although the ward is represented by the Deputy Mayor Asick Meera, there has been no action.

“This has become a perennial problem. Previously they used to catch the pigs, but even this is not being done now. Nevertheless, the pigs always come back as the Corporation has not found a permanent solution to rid the area of the menace,” says Antony David, another resident of Senthaneerpuram.

Given the absence of political will to contain the unrestrained pig rearing business, residents are vexed over the problem.

The Corporation Council, at its last meeting, deferred a move to introduce a licensing system for rearing cattle and other domestic animals within the city limits. Significantly, the council had put the skids on a resolution approved by it previously paving the way for framing of by-laws for introducing the licence system.

In November , the council had approved the by-laws, the rates of licence fee for rearing animals and penalties on owners of animals raising them without authorisation. The by-laws also sought to impose a ban on rearing animals in places along national highways, State highways, corporation thoroughfares, roads where schools and colleges are situated, and commercial and market areas that have been classified as zone A, B and C in the city.

The by-laws was proposed to be gazetted and enforced from April 1, 2013. But when the subject came up before the council as no objection was received 30 days after the by-laws was publicly notified, the AIADMK members led by J.Srinivasan demanded that the resolution be kept in abeyance as the areas where cattle rearing is to be banned has not been clearly specified. Besides, the licence fee and penalties proposed was too high in certain cases, they contended.

Interestingly, the by-laws were framed by the Corporation officials in the wake of repeated complaints from city residents and elected representatives of the corporation over the stray cattle and pig menace in the city.

With the pig rearing business leading to cut throat competition and even murders, the City police had even recommended to the Corporation last year seeking action to check unauthorized rearing of the animals as it was leading to law and order problems.

The volte face by the councilors has not only baffled residents but also raised their ire.