Madurai

Pedalling to protect Tamirabharani

Collector V. Vishnu (right) and Corporation Commissioner B. Vishnu Chandran leading the first cycle rally in Tirunelveli on Saturday.  

Collector V. Vishnu and Corporation Commissioner B. Vishnu Chandran on Saturday pedalled for about 18 km to create public awareness of the need to conserve the Tamirabharani, other water bodies, birds and heritage structures along the course of the river.

The perennial river — fulcrum of farming operations and drinking water projects — has been seriously polluted by tonnes of domestic and industrial sewage from Papanasam to Punnaikaayal for about 125 km.

Devotees, after taking bath in the river at Papanasam, discard their clothes in the water due to belief that their sins would be washed away along with their clothes. Policemen of Manimuthar Battalion and volunteers periodically remove the discarded clothes. Five tonnes of clothes were removed during this week.

While the river faces threat from the people, centuries-old granite mandapams along its course are getting defaced and damaged by anti-social elements, who use them as bars in the evening.

“Since we have not understood the sacredness and value of the Tamirabharani, the river is getting polluted and heritage structures along the watercourse are also being damaged.,” Mr. Vishnu said before participating in the first cycle rally that started and ended at the Corporation office after going up to Kunnathur on the city outskirts.

“So, we have planned to organise cycle rallies every Sunday to create awareness among the public of the need to save the Tamirabharani from pollution and conservethe heritage structures. Moreover, we should also protect the birds visiting the river and the water bodies,” he added.

After digitally mapping the water bodies of the district and the Tamirabharani, the district administration has drawn a comprehensive strategyto protect the water bodies with citizens’ participation. The Collector has banned discharge of sewage into the river and has instructed local bodies to put in place a credible liquid waste management system in their areas by installing effluent treatment plants.

Corporate firms have also come forward to join hands with the district administration in the exercise that began on Friday.

“We will continue to organise the cycle rally on Sundays to explain to the public in a sustained manner the need to conserve nature and heritage. Moreover, the rally will also encourage them to be physically fit,” Mr. Vishnu said.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 4:43:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/pedalling-to-protect-tamirabharani/article35656200.ece

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