They threaten to intensify stir if steps not taken to solve problem

The indiscriminate dumping of untreated, toxic effluents from the textile processing units in the vacant lands and drainage channels has made life miserable for hundreds of residents in BP Agraharam and its surroundings.

A number of unauthorised units have come up in BP Agraharam following the absence of monitoring and action from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and the district administration.

“A few persons had taken the godowns and lands in the area by paying huge sums as rent and established textile processing units. Thousands of gallons of untreated effluents from the units are being dumped in the vacant lands and the drains as they do not have proper treatment facilities,” S. Saravanan, a resident of Nathakattuthottam in BP Agraharam, said.

The continuous dumping had poisoned the environment and led to groundwater contamination.

“The use of contaminated water left many of us to suffer from skin-related diseases and develop allergies,” B. Revathi, another resident from the same area, said.

Residents alleged that the managements of the units were using huge amount of chemicals to dilute the colour of the effluents dumped in the vacant lands.

“This increases pollution levels.

A foul smell also emanates from the stagnated effluents, which forced us to stay indoors,” G. Murugan, another resident, said.

People had taken the issue to the notice of the TNPCB officials on several occasions asking them to shut down the polluting industrial units in their area.

But, no fruitful results emerged from them till date, residents said.

“We had also appealed to the officials in the district administration to look into the issue as it posed serious health threat. But, our pleas fell on deaf ears,” residents claimed.

More than 100 residents from BP Agraharam came to the Collectorate on Monday and staged a demonstration urging the officials to initiate immediate efforts to close the polluting units.

They threatened that they would intensify their protest if the administration failed to initiate any steps to sort out the problem.