Tamil Nadu

Palar river in Vellore flows again, after three years

According to PWD officials, around 6,000 cusecs of water is flowing through Palar in Vellore   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

While Vellore and Katpadi residents are happy about water flowing through the Palar river after three years, river conservation activists want more check dams to improve groundwater levels and also want authorities to stop effluent discharge into the river.

The rain triggered by Cyclone Nivar in catchment areas of tributaries like Ponnai, Mallataru, Agaram and Koundinya in Andhra Pradesh brought copious flows into Palar. “Many people gathered on Polur Subramanian Bridge and Katpadi Old Bridge to witness water gushing through Palar river,” said Sivadasan, a police constable.

According to Public Works Department (PWD) officials, around 6,000 cusecs of water is flowing through Palar in Vellore. “There has been an inflow of close to 15,000 cusecs of water from various tributaries like Mallataru, Ponnai, Koundaniya and Agaram,” said an official from the Vellore district administration. He said that due to this flow, ground water will improve. “We still have rains due during the Northeast Monsoon and if the flow is retained, the ground water level will improve,” said the official.

Ambalur Ashokan, Palar river activist and Rivers of Ecology, committee member, Vellore district, said that this flow would have washed away the garbage dumped by tanneries, the municipal corporation and village panchayats on the river bed. “Now groundwater is available only at 1,500 feet. If we build more check dams and retain water, we will be able to get water at 300 feet,” he said.

Palar A. C. Venkatesan, general secretary, Tamil Nadu All Farmers Association Coordination Committee, said that many treatment plants were letting out untreated and semi-treated sewage into the Palr river now. “This should be stopped immediately,” he said. He added that a check dam should be constructed across Palar to divert water into smaller rivers. “Earlier it used to flow naturally, but now that does not happen due to sand mining. The supply channels to these rivers should also be desilted,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 3:53:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/palar-river-in-vellore-flows-again-after-three-years/article33200294.ece

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