Despite River Noyyal being in spate, the Irugur tank in the Noyyal system has not received the desired quantity of water due to encroachments in the feeder canal.
Water from River Noyyal flows through the main canal (Raja Vaikal) to fill the Irugur tank, locally referred to as Sengulam. After filling the Irugur tank, the canal feeds the 300- acre Achankulam tank in Neelambur panchayat and flows into Noyyal again. These tanks serve as a source for irrigation and domestic purposes for the villages in Arasur, Muthugoundenpudur and Neelambur.
R. Balraj, a resident of Irugur said, effluents from the Industries nearby and domestic wastes were let into the canal without any treatment. The encroachments obstructed the flow of water and the sewage was getting stagnated in the canal.
Because of the flow of sewage, microbial activity had increased in the Irugur tank, creating an unhygienic environment. The tank was not desilted in the recent past and was filled with water hyacinth. This prevented the penetration of sunlight and damaged the ecosystem, the residents said.
K. Mohanraj of Save Coimbatore Wetlands, an association to protect wetlands, cautioned that “if a tank in the upstream of the Noyyal system is polluted, it will eventually pollute the other tanks in the system, as all of them are interconnected.”
He also added that a comprehensive study had to be conducted to know the current depth of the tanks in the cluster and the sediments deposited. Installation of sewage treatment plants and desilting of tanks scientifically would provide a sustainable solution to preserve the tanks, he added.
An official from the Public Works Department said the temporary blocks in the Raja Vaikal would be cleared at the earliest, adding the department had initiated steps to desilt the canal.
Arrangements were made for people who lived by encroaching upon the canal, through Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board. Notice was sent to them to vacate the place, the official added.