Today's Paper

River bears brunt of pollution

S. Ganesan

TIRUCHI: The Uyyakondan river is fast turning into Tiruchi's very own Cooum owing to heavy sewage and effluent discharge from households, commercial establishments and industries.

The river, which takes its flow from the Cauvery, has already taken a blackish hue on the city stretch. Over 60 per cent of the river's course that traverses about 69 km between Pettavaithalai and Vazhavanthankottai tank is being subjected to heavy urban pollution. The river has an ayacut area of over 32,000 acres and feeds 36 tanks.

The Corporation too has been a callous culprit by letting out several open drains into the river at Puthur, Palakkarai and Ariyamangalam areas. The terrain of the region makes the river a convenient drain for sewage flow from various parts of the city. Open drains carry discharges not only from households but also hotels, commercial establishments and even a few slaughterhouses.

Conduit pipes, buried underground, can be seen conveying sewage from individual households and hospitals between Puthur and Palakkarai. Several households in these thickly populated areas are not connected to the underground drainage system. The drainage is grossly under-utilised with just about 16,000 connections against its capacity of 20,000. Further downstream, effluents from several industries, along with civic drains, quietly flow into the river beyond Ariyamangalam.

The sewage flow makes the river a fertile bed for lush growth of weeds, says a Government official. An overpowering stench, emanating from streams of drains, pervades along the river whenever release of water for irrigation is suspended, says a resident of Palakkarai.