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Concern over repeated discharge of polluted water into Noyyal

L. Renganathan

Water scarcity in Karur, Inam Karur and Thanthoni panchayats has worsened

KARUR: Repeated discharge of polluted water from the Orathupalayam dam in the neighbouring Erode district has caused widespread resentment among the residents of Karur.

The Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) have called upon the Government to address the situation immediately and have threatened to launch agitations if it failed to come to the rescue of the public.

There has been acute drinking water scarcity in Karur, Inam Karur and Thanthoni panchayats and the situation has worsened in the past fortnight following the opening of the Orathuapalayam dam, overflowing with effluent mixed polluted water from textile units in Tirupur, among others.

While the dam is supposed to feed a major ayacut in the Noyyal basin in Karur district, it has turned fertile grounds into barren land.

An estimated 20,00 acres of land along the Noyyal and the Cauvery in Karur district has been affected.

In several villages, even groundwater has been polluted beyond redemption and villagers of Kombupalayam, Appipalayam, Kolandagoundanvalasu and Noyyal claim that dermatological problems persist among them. Livestock has also been affected.

But the booming textile industry has weighed down heavily against weaker agriculture and pathetic health concerns of the people.

Groundwater from the Amaravathy riverbed has already been highly polluted and official circles fear that such a fate might befall the Cauvery basin also.

To confirm the worst fears of the authorities, pumping in the headworks of various combined water supply schemes was affected during the past fortnight when the Orathupalayam dam was opened twice - on May 27 and June 7.

In this context, the people are slowly waking up to the reality that their very livelihood is at stake.

Political parties have raised their voice more vociferously than ever before. While the Congress and the CPI have come out in the open, some Left-leaning organisations have been cautioning the Government for some time now.

A release from the Congress district president, Bank Subramanian, notes that if the State Government does not find an alternative means to dispose off polluted water from Orathupalayam dam instead of releasing it into the Noyyal his party would be forced to start an agitation.

Similarly, the CPI district committee has urged the Government to act on the problem soon.

Alternative arrangements should be made and the people should be provided with potable water at regular intervals.

The district administration and the Government should save the Amaravathy from pollution and encroachments.

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