Pichaikaran Pallam Odai fast turning into a sewer

Contaminated: Once a natural canal, Pichaikaran Pallam Odai is now fast turning into a sewer thanks to dyeing and bleaching units that discharge effluents.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN

Staff Reporter

Effluents from dyeing and bleaching units pollute it

ERODE: Pichaikaran Pallam Odai, one of the important canals in Erode, is fast turning into a sewage canal. As it nears River Cauvery, effluents from dyeing and bleaching units and also domestic sewage get mixed with the waters and pollute it. The Odai, a natural formation, gets its water from the Ellapalayam Tank.

Rivulets from Kanna Velampalayam, Elayathakoil and a few other sources in and around Nasiyanoor flow into the Ellapalayam Tank.

The run off water from the Odai passes through Nasiyanoor, Ellappalayam, Villarasampatti, Periya Semur and B.P. Agraharam local bodies before entering River Cauvery. T. Subbu, district secretary of the Tamizhaga Vivasayeegal Sangam, says it runs for about 15 km and is an indirect source of irrigation for lands around Erode.

It is also a water source for thousands of houses in the aforementioned local bodies. Hundreds of dyeing and bleaching units, mostly operating on small scale, depend on the canal, both for drawing water and discharging effluent. As it enters Periya Semur Municipality the waters is completely coloured, as the number of units is more there. Off the Bhavani Road, the Odai becomes a sewer as solid wastes from houses are discharged into it. Thereafter, it crosses the Kalingarayan Canal and enters River Cauvery. Besides the pollution, the Odai also faces encroachment. At many places, factories and houses are located right at the banks of the Odai.

Mr. Subbu says the district administration should order the Public Works Department to remove encroachments and Pollution Control Board to stop industries polluting the canal. PWD sources say they will remove the encroachments once they start work on renovating the Kalingarayan Canal. TNPCB sources say that there are around 150 units, which are mostly small scale. Some of the units are unlicensed and they will soon initiate action.