Madurai

Illegal deep borewells sealed

Officials sealing one of the five illegal deep borewells at Servaikaaranmadam on Tuesday.

Officials sealing one of the five illegal deep borewells at Servaikaaranmadam on Tuesday.

THOOTHUKUDID

The Collector K. Senthil Raj has directed officials to seal five deep borewells that were used for years for illegally extracting groundwater for commercial purpose.

Following complaints from farmers during the weekly grievance meet, he deployed a team of officials from the departments of revenue, rural development and police to raid the farms in Servaikaaranmadam village panchayat, where deep borewells had been sunk for drawing the groundwater to be sold to hotels, companies and restaurants.

Since it is a highly lucrative business in Thoothukudi as demand for drinking water in this town is quite high, more than 25 borewells around Pudukottai are used to draw water for sale though free power connections have been given for agricultural purpose. Around one hundred water tankers are used to sell the illegally drawn water.

When the team checked the farms belonging to Raja of Thoothukudi, Arumugam of Ayyanadaippu and Annapandi of Servaikaaranmadam on Tuesday, it found the complaints to be true.

 “While Raja and Arumugam had sunk two deep borewells each, Annapandi had sunk a deep borewell to draw the groundwater for commercial purpose,” an official in the team said.

Farmers said a few farms in Koottaampuli, where free power connections had been given for farm work, were illegally drawing groundwater through deep borewells to monetary gain.

 “With the connivance of officials and elected members of local bodies, this illegal activity is going on for several years. When an action was taken against these farms in 2018 and the erring farms were sealed for this unlawful business, a former Minister intervened to get the seals removed from all the farms since he has also sunk three deep borewells in Koottaampuli area for selling the groundwater illegally. The farmers had to suffer a lot. So, they want the Collector to take action against these people and seal all illegal borewells in Pudukottai region,” said a farmer from Koottaampuli.

Dr. Senthil Raj assured that similar checks across the district, particularly around Pudukottai area, would continue to save groundwater.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2022 5:24:32 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/illegal-deep-borewells-sealed/article65721099.ece