They demand drinking water supply
Residents of Kombai picketed Uthamapalayam-Thevaram-Bodi main road demanding resumption of drinking water supply. Traffic was disrupted for more than two hours.
Water was being supplied once in 20 days, the residents complained. They attributed the disruption in supply to faulty pipelines, power cuts and malfunctioning of pumping motors.
They charged the panchayat administration with poor maintenance of pipelines.
The agitators dispersed after officials rushed to the spot and promised to restore water supply within a few days.
Officials say that the town panchayat administration has been supplying water to all wards at Kombai on a rotation basis. It collects water from the Mullaperiyar river at Lower Camp when the flow is good. But manpower shortage affected the maintenance of pipelines.
The Public Works Department has released 200 cusecs of water to meet drinking water requirements.
But farmers, who have perennial crops along the river, tap the water illegally for irrigation. In addition, sand mining has turned the riverbed into a rocky surface. The flow of the river has increased owing to the absence of sand.
Several town panchayats, panchayat unions and village panchayats between Lower Camp near Goodalur and Kottur on the Madurai-Theni Highway, have been drawing water from 47 wells dug in the riverbed.