VELLORE: The Vellore District Palar River Protection Association has urged Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to devise and implement a ‘Green Policy’ for a healthy environment and the well-being of the people of the State.
In a memorandum, president of the association, Jamuna Thiagarajan, pointed out that linkages between technology and ecology, and politics and culture needed a drastic change.
Expressing concern over the ‘catastrophic situation’ created by the leather industries in Vellore district for the past four decades, she said that the services of the corporate sector in Tamil Nadu could be utilised to mitigate the problems in a big way.
Quoting former director of the Central Leather Research Institute, Dr Ramasamy who had opined that organic tanning alone was the solution to prevent pollution from the leather industry, Thiagarajan has called upon the CM to explore how the new technology of organic tanning could help this industry and people who have been suffering in the region.
An expert committee of environmentalists, hydrologists, farm scientists, economists, NGOs, farmers should be constituted by the State to assess the damages caused by this industry on natural resources, the Palar river basin and health of the people and animals, she said.
She has also urged the CM to take steps to revive the Palar river by holding dialogue with her counterparts in AP and Karnataka over the riparian rights of the people of the State, which were being violated by illegal blockades in the upstream part of Palar river, thus denying water flow in the river in TN for the past one decade.
The Green policy should also focus on imposing a ban on plastics, as has been successfully implemented by the Andhra Pradesh government. All efforts must be made to protect traditional water bodies and unauthorised development of real estate activities in the villages should be controlled with proper guidelines, she said.
Highlighting the role of NGOs such as Siruthuli Iyyakkam in Coimbatore that has taken pains to cleanse the Noyyal river besides renovating nine big lakes around the city that has helped in enhancing the ground water level, she has called for making use of the participation of people as crucial.