Washing of clothes in Saravana Poigai continues despite ban

People continue to wash clothes in Saravana Poigai at Tirupparankundram, polluting the waterbody.

People continue to wash clothes in Saravana Poigai at Tirupparankundram, polluting the waterbody. | Photo Credit: Moorthy. G

As devotees strew puffed rice for fishes to feast upon at Saravana Poigai, the tank attached to Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tirupparankundram, empty plastic covers finally find their way to the waterbody.

The discarded plastic covers and bags accumulate along the fringes of the tank, which is visited by hundreds of devotees who want to take a holy dip in it. Though the tank holds high religious importance, local residents and devotees often wash their clothes and even bathe in the tank.

One can see washed clothes drying along the iron railings put up around the tank, and even a few on the very board stating that washing of clothes in the tank is banned.

A 45-year-old-woman from the area said she had been washing clothes in the tank ever since she was a child. “We get water for domestic use supplied only once in 10 days,” she said.

Another resident of the area, who was returning home with a bucketful of washed clothes, said water supply had always been a problem in the area.

Washing of clothes in the tank was banned by the then Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao in 2016, but people still use strong detergents and soaps to wash clothes, thereby polluting the water.

Such activities hinder maintaining the health of the tank that was revived by Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 2019. In an effort to restore the rain-fed tank, Madurai Corporation built common washing and bathing ghats for men and women near the tank a few months ago.

Councillor of ward 97 R. Sivasakthi said despite repeated instruction to the public to refrain from polluting the tank, people did not seem to change their habit. She assured that there was a steady water supply to both the ghats. “We are thinking of deploying security to prevent this from happening in the future,” added Ms. Sivasakthi.

She also said they were not given time to highlight the issue in the recently concluded Corporation council meeting.

Munusu Senthil, a resident of Tirupparankundram, complained that the ghats did not have effective water disposal structures due to which water stagnated. “How do they expect people to use it on a daily basis then?,” he asked. He urged the authorities to maintain the tanks in a better way.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 12:30:45 pm |