Presence of residential localities in close proximity has become a huge disadvantage

Water-stagnation in the numerous abandoned stone quarries in Thuvakkudi municipality in the district poses potential health hazard for residents.

While in neighbouring Perambalur district, water available in a quarry at Ranjankudi has been found to be potable, at Thuvakudi, presence of residential localities in close proximity to the quarries has turned out to be a huge disadvantage.

Pipelines from the septic tanks of several hundreds of households are connected to over 20 quarries, most of which have a depth of over 400 to 500 feet.

The residents were either unaware or simply unmindful of the danger they were causing for outbreak of epidemics by connecting their septic tanks to the quarries, according to the Municipality Chairman E. Kayambu. The residents themselves suffer from the stench during rainy days, he said.

After quarrying was banned in 2005, the quarries were left unfenced. Since accidental deaths of people slipping into the quarries, on the fringes of which locals are used to answering nature’s call, were reported at regular intervals, the district administration prevailed upon the municipality to construct boundary walls around the quarries.

Mr. Kayambu dismissed suggestions that came from certain quarters for dumping the garbage generated by the city into the Thuvakudi quarries.

The idea was floated by sections of the public in the wake of the massive fire that engulfed the Ariyamangalam dump yard. “It would cause more danger to the health of the local public,” he said.

Unlike in other places, it was difficult to convert the former quarry sites in Thuvakudi into reservoirs, landfills, and conservation area since it warrants public cooperation, said Mr. Kayambu.

Protecting and reusing the quarries is a long-term option under the city development plan for Thuvakudi that SMEC (India) Private Ltd., submitted to the Commmissionerate of Municipal Administration in 2009 under the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project Phase III.

Acknowledging that the abandoned quarries were a major disadvantage and unsafe for the town, the report advocates usage of the abandoned quarries in the long-run for water storage, landscaping, breeding aqua culture, water sports, and tourism. Otherwise, the quarries could be used for dumping construction waste, it states.