A cause for concern, the Sankarabarani river passing through many areas in rural Puducherry has been polluted by effluents from industries in the surrounding areas.
A portion of the river at Sellipet adjoining a check dam has become polluted with greenish blue pollutant floating on the surface of the river, along the bank of the river. It is suspected to have originated at Thettampakkam from the chemical units, and have flown to Sellipet .
Some people living in the villages adjoining the river, who use the water from Sankarabarani, have developed skin rashes, claims P Outtiresvarane, President of Humanity Consumer Centre, Lawspet. “Some fish and snails have also died”, he added.
Several cows and goats graze on the grass grown on the river bank, which could poison the animals and even their milk. Even the greens and other vegetables grown here could also be poisoned.
Under these circumstances the Pondicherry Pollution Control Committee (PPCC) needs to take immediate action to stop the flow of effluents and suspend the operations of the factory responsible for it.
The government should take stringent action in this regard, Outtireswarane, who has submitted a memorandum to the government, said. Under Similar circumstances, the PPCC had taken action against the seven dying units in Muthialpet area. Eight unauthorised dying units had been closed down following discharge of effluents into the sea through the drainage canal, after it was brought to the notice by MLA K Lakshminarayanan, last December.
The Sankarabarani river banks have also been used for dumping expired chocolates and drugs in the past. However action had been taken by PPCC to remove them.
A total of 115 industrial units had been identified as hazardous waste generating industries on April 30, 2012 by the PPCC. A total of 35,250.076 tonnes of hazardous waste is generated in Puducherry, which includes 132.5 tonnes for secured land filling, 35, 092.8 tonnes is recyclable and 24.8 tonnes is incinerable. Some chemical units including Athiappa Chemicals, Mettupalayam, Shasun Drugs and Chemicals, Kalapet, Chemfab Alkalis, Kalapet and Chemplast Sunmar, Karaikal had been directed by the PPCC to install an online monitoring system, as per a new initiative taken by the PPCC.