Months after imposing a ban on rearing pigs within the city limits, Tiruchirapalli City Corporation is still struggling to enforce the decision as those engaged in the business continue to defy the civic body. Although some of those engaged in the business seemed to have been lying low for some time, pig rearing continues unchecked at Ariyamangalam and its neighbourhood.
Ariyamangalam, Senthaneerpuram and Sangiliandapuram have been notorious for large scale pig rearing down the years.
The innumerable open drains in these backward areas, inadequate civic amenities, the banks of Uyyakondan channel and the adjoining open spaces with thick growth of bushes make for an ideal and secluded place for rearing pigs.
With the business leading to cutthroat competition and even murders, city police recommended to the corporation last year seeking action to check unauthorised rearing of pigs as it was leading to law and order problems.
In February, the corporation council adopted a resolution banning rearing pigs and horses. As a follow-up, Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani set July 22 as the deadline for those who rear pigs to take their animals out of the city. But the ultimatum and the civic body’s subsequent attempts to impound some of the animals seemed to have had little impact, if one were to go by the large number of pigs found in Ariyamangalam.
A putrid odour hangs over parts of Anna Nagar in Ariyamangalam as refuse and waste from hotels and chicken stalls, which are fed to pigs, could be seen stored at many places.
Fed up over the problems they have been facing, a section of residents in Ariyamangalam has raised their voice against the menace. Last week, a group of members of Social Democratic Party of India from ward 29 presented a petition to Collector Jayashree Muralidharan complaining that the corporation councillor of the ward was engaged in rearing pigs in Anna Nagar, a densely populated backward area near Ariyamangalam.
“Over 1,500 families reside in the area. The animals are being raised right in the middle of the locality by the councillor flouting the ban imposed by the corporation. Mosquitoes breeding along pigs are spreading diseases. The Collector should intervene to protect the residents,” the party representatives said in the memorandum.
Locals say that many persons, in some cases entire family, turns sick. “The young and old often suffer from fever. Many are also affected by skin ailments,” said a woman from the area who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisal. Locals opposing those who rear pigs are often abused and threatened by their hirelings.
Recently, the corporation has hired an agency to impound pigs.
The pig menace came up for a brief discussion at the corporation council meeting last week too when DMK members T.Muthuselvam and M.Anbazhagan said there were complaints that the pigs caught by workers are being let out again in the city on the sly.
Commissioner V.P.Thandapani denied the allegation and said so far 195 pigs have been impounded and taken out of the city.
Though he affirmed that the drive would continue, Mr. Thandapani pointed out that it was painstaking and difficult as a day-long hunt could lead to the capture of just 25 to 30 pigs. It remains to be seen whether the civic body would display the will to put an end to a problem that undermines its authority.