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Farmers' conference on pollution

Staff Reporter

KARUR: Farmers of Karur district, who are plagued by industrial pollution for several decades now, have decided to intensify their struggle to put a permanent end to the menace.

The affected farmers have decided to convene a regional conference in Karur, Erode and Tirupur districts on January 28 and chalk out a strategy to counter the pollution threat to save farm lands and farmers.

Effluents discharged by textile and allied industries in Karur, Tirupur, Erode and Coimbatore districts have wrought havoc in Amaravathy, Noyyal and Cauvery rivers, which in olden days enriched Kongu region in general and Karur district in particular.

“Over the past few decades dyeing and bleaching activities had left Noyyal and Amaravathy ravaged and is threatening to engulf Cauvery . We have been fighting at several levels to stem the rot and resurrect full-scale agriculture. It is estimated that more than 75,000 acres in Karur district has been affected partially or fully due to industrial pollution. More over, health of human beings and cattle has been upstaged while drinking and irrigation water sources are left spoiled.

Despite the pleas of several farmers' organisations and environmentalists to prevent further damage to the rivers precious little has been done. To make our voices heard we need to remain and fight united,'' said former MLA T.N.Sivasubramanian, who has been involved in anti-pollution activities over the past couple of years.

To take the struggle forward and to intensify the efforts, a special conclave of farmers' representatives, social organisations and activists was held here, in which farmers affected by pollution gave vent to their anguish.

Presiding over the deliberations, president of the Association of Farmers Affected by Pollution R.Ramasamy, said that farmers' demands especially those relating to pollution and environmental damage must be readily heeded by the governments.

The show of strength is a signal to the governments and other agencies involved in pollution control, to act immediately and effectively, he added.

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