Action sought against units that discharge untreated effluents into canal
ERODE: Protesting against the growing pollution problem in the Kalingarayan canal and also opposing the Cauvery Tribunal's recommendation to reduce water for cultivation, the Kalingarayan farmers observed a one-day token fast on Monday before the Erode Government Headquarters Hospital. The president of the Kalingarayan Farmers Association, V.M. Velayutham, led the agitation.
Mr. Velayutham told newsmen that from Kalingarayan canal water was provided for irrigation for 10-and-a-half months continuously and more than 10 TMC feet of water would be used for irrigation of two or three crops. But the Cauvery Tribunal order stated that 3.4 TMC feet of water may be given to Kalingarayan ayacut.
If this was implemented, not even a single crop can be raised and all the 10,000-odd hectares of land in the ayacut would go barren. Mr. Velayutham said that they had already submitted a memorandum to the Public Works Minister in this regard and urged the State Government to inform the tribunal of their plight.
Further due to discharge of effluents and sewage into the canal, the farmers were inflicted with various disease and many were affected with cancer.
The fasting farmers appealed to the district administration to take stringent action against the industries, which were discharging untreated effluents into the canal.
Mr. Velayutham also urged the Public Works Department to construct embankment in the urban areas to prevent mixing of sewage and effluents. The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Women Empowerment, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, addressed the farmers. She said that the agitation was not against the State Government, but a means for the farmers to highlight their problems with the government. The Modakurichi MLA, R.M. Palanisamy, inaugurated the fast. The farmers also submitted a memorandum to the Collector.