TAMIL NADU

Demand for steps to check sewage flow into the Cauvery

Pollution:The sewage pumping station near the Cauvery river in Tiruchi, from where, the residents allege, sewage is often let out into the river.Photo: A. MuralitharanA_MURALITHARAN

Pollution:The sewage pumping station near the Cauvery river in Tiruchi, from where, the residents allege, sewage is often let out into the river.Photo: A. MuralitharanA_MURALITHARAN  

Despite the implementation of the underground drainage scheme sanctioned under the National River Conservation Programme (NRCP) mainly aimed at preventing the pollution of the Cauvery a decade ago, sewage from open drains continue to flow into the river.

On Monday, a group of youth of Mela Chinthamani in the city presented a petition to the district authorities during the public grievance meeting, complaining over the sewage flow into the Cauvery from open drains.

The sewage flow was not only polluting the river but also posing a health hazard to residents of the locality, they said.

The youths alleged that sewage from the pumping station, from where it is supposed to be pumped to the underground drainage mains to the Panchapur sewage treatment farm, is let out on the sly into the river during nights. The sewage flow into the river defeats the very purpose of the sanction of the underground drainage scheme. The Cauvery is also the source for several drinking water schemes, feeding the city and its suburbs, they pointed out and demanded steps to check the problem.

“The problem has been persisting for years, despite the implementation of the NRCP. Due to the sewage flow, there is heavy weed growth in the river and in the absence of water flow, the sewage stagnates, polluting the environment. The groundwater in our area has been polluted and we get water mixed with sewage from borewells in the locality. A foul odour often pervades the area,” said S. Mahesh, one of the youth. Residents also complained that open drains from some parts in and around Mela Chinthamani was flowing into the river.

A senior Corporation official, when contacted, however, denied that the sewage from the pumping station was being let out into the river. “We have upgraded the capacity of the motors used in the pumping station and sewage is pumped to Panchapur from here in three shifts a day regularly,” he maintained.

However, he conceded that open drains from a few places in the locality, which are not connected to the underground sewer lines, are being let out into the river. These places would be brought under the sewer network in the next phase of the extension of the underground drainage system in the city, he said.

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