Coimbatore

Dumping of debris into Valankulam tank irks public

Dumping earth into the Valankulam tank by Coimbatore Corporation under Smart Cities Mission has irked environmentalists and activists.   | Photo Credit: S_SIVA SARAVANAN

The Coimbatore Corporation dumping debris and earth into Valankulam tank has irked members of the public, who say that the lake development project that the civic body has taken up under the Smart Cities Mission is going against people’s wishes.

East of the road that connects Trichy Road at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital junction with the Sungam Bypass Road, the Corporation has dumped earth to form a long stretch resembling a road.

As soon as the Corporation began the work, a few activists had objected to the work saying it will further truncate the already divided tank and result in turning into a pond. This defeats the very purpose of the Corporation taking up the lake development work.

For, when it drafted the detailed project report, it projected lake conservation through beautification as its objective. But what is happening seems to be the opposite as the civic body is focussing more on beautification than conservation, says an activist on condition of anonymity.

To underscore his argument, he says the Corporation has thus far spent money only on beautification and not on constructing sewage treatment plants near the Valankulam tank and Ukkadam Big Tank, though the plants also form part of the project proposal.

Consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon says the Corporation dumping earth and debris right into the water body is in contempt of the Madras High Court, which has ordered the district administration and Corporation to remove all encroachment in water bodies in River Noyyal basin.

The Corporation’s action also goes against the very affidavit that it submitted in the case to protect water bodies.

The Coimbatore Consumer Cause has issued notice to the Corporation for taking up the work, he adds.

Singanallur MLA N. Karthik says lake conservation has only been a cover for the Corporation to spend money on beautification. This is not the first encroachment by the Corporation in the water body.

It had eaten into the water holding area by widening the bund and thereby reducing the storage capacity.

He warned that if the Corporation did not remove all the dumped earth, the party will soon stage a protest.

Sources familiar with the development say the civic body has dumped earth to construct a pedestrian path right through the water holding area.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:40:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/dumping-of-debris-into-valankulam-tank-irks-public/article33103776.ece

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