Vellore MP Abdul Rahman expressed concerns over the lack of steps being taken to reverse the damage to ecology due to pollution in the Palar basin.
In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the MP pointed out that the Loss of Ecology Authority (LEA), constituted following the Supreme Court directive, had submitted its report in 2001, with a proposal, valued at Rs 168 crore, to implement various schemes to reverse ecological damage in the Palar belt.
Rahman said these schemes were identified by the TN Agriculture University, Coimbatore, under the leadership of Dr Sivanappan. The basic report was fine-tuned with the help of experts from National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Central Pollution Control Board, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, and Public Works Department. He said a district-level working committee for the schemes was also formed in Vellore, headed by the collector, in 2005. A district-level team was also formed to monitor the implementation of the Government of India’s Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water Resources Management (IAMWARM) project.
Rahman said the project appraisal document, released by World Bank had mentioned that some of its components wer similar with that of the Loss Ecology Authority’s suggestions for reversing the ecology in Vellore district. The district-level monitoring committee for the IAMWARM project had the same members as that of the working committee for the schemes for reversal of damaged ecology. However, nothing fruitful had emerged so far.
Rahman, quoting an announcement by the Central Ground Water Authority, said Gudiyattam, Jolarpet, Pernambut and Tirupattur had been categorised as critically affected areas. “These areas fall under my constituency; hence the need for launching appropriate schemes, under the IAMWARM and LEA recommendations, to reverse the damaged ecology in the Palar basin, assume greater significance,” he added.