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PT president argues case against sale of groundwater

Staff Reporter



Water woe: Puthiya Tamizhagam leader and MLA K.Krishnasamy entering the Madras High Court Bench to argue a case against sale of groundwater in his constituency Ottapidaram.

MADURAI: Puthiya Tamizhagam president K. Krishnasamy, also a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing Ottapidaram constituency in Tuticorin district, argued a case in the Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday against indiscriminate drawing of groundwater in his constituency by private individuals for commercial purposes.

He appeared before Justice B. Rajendran and sought permission to include himself as a party in a writ petition filed by Sundarapandian, a land owner from Ottapidaram, against a ban imposed by the Tuticorin Revenue Divisional Officer on selling ground water.

The MLA also urged the court to vacate a stay imposed by it on Tuesday against the operation of the RDO's order passed on February 23.

The judge asked him to file the impleading petition as well as the vacate stay petition with the High Court Registry and said that both of them would be taken up for hearing on Friday.

“I granted stay because the writ petitioner's lawyer produced an order copy relating to a stay granted by the Principal Seat (of the High Court in Chennai) in a similar matter. Let's look into it on Friday,” the judge said.

Earlier, Mr. Krishnasamy said that some individuals had dug up bore wells ranging from 800 to 1,500 feet in his constituency in order to sell the groundwater.

Agricultural operations in the area were affected due to such indiscriminate drawing of water and there was huge scarcity of drinking water. The residents were forced to purchase drinking water at Rs. 5 a pot, he added.

In his proceedings, the RDO had stated that the ban was imposed only after obtaining the opinion of the Water Resources Organisation of the Public Works Department. As per their opinion, the groundwater level in areas within a radius of 175 metres would be affected if excess water was drawn from a bore well dug up to 100 metres deep.

Similarly, the groundwater table in localities situated within a radius of 600 metres would be affected if water was drawn from a bore well deeper than 100 metres.

Pointing out that huge number of complaints was being received from the public against drawing of water for commercial purposes, the RDO had banned the sale of water drawn from areas in and around Ottapidaram after terming it to be a “public nuisance.”

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