VELLORE: The Vellore district Palar River Protection Association (PRPA) has appealed to the Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Seetharaman, to champion the cause of reversing the damaged ecology around the Palar river.
Jamuna Thiagrajan, president of PRPA in a memorandum to the union minister has pointed out that despite the fact that the country’s apex court directing action to reverse the damaged ecology, successive governments have failed to do so. If the Modi government evinces interest in this issue, it would be a departure from the general apathy of previous governments, she noted.
Thiagarajan described the Palar river as a lifeline of the northern districts of Tamil Nadu. She said the river once used to boast of a fertile land-base near the Cauvery delta producing high-grade paddy and millets. “Today, Palar is in crisis due to continued pollution and the denial of riparian rights by the neighbouring states - Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh” she noted.
Unabated and unplanned sand-mining, uncontrolled encroachment and overdrawing of ground water from the river bed by local bodies has compounded the negative impact on the ecology of this river basin.
Unless the ecology is restored to its original state by ensuring regular surface flow of water, preventing pollution, banning sand mining and evicting encroachments, the sustenance of the one crore population that depends on the river will suffer. Thiagarajan urged the minister to persuade the industry, the state governments and other stakeholders to resolve the issues on a war footing.
PRPA extended an invitation to the minister to visit the Palar basin to ascertain the damage first-hand and to suggest corrective measures at the earliest.