COIMBATORE: Every year, hundreds of people get treated for water-borne diseases in Mettupalayam General Hospital. This year, since February, the number has already touched 81. And all fingers point to the source of water — a very polluted River Bhavani.
The coordinator of Mettupalayam Save Bhavani Campaign M Su Mani has been successful in accessing the data from the hospital. He says, “As many as 174 people visited Mettupalayam GH in 2012 seeking treatment for water-borne disease. This number reached 364 in 2013. The hospital saw 427 in-patients in 2014 and 489 patients in 2015. As many as 81 patients sought treatment for water-borne diseases since February this year.” Hospital sources have confirmed that the numbers revealed by Mani is true and say that only a water-borne disease can lead to so many suffering from diarrhoeal diseases.
Yet, people might not believe that the water they consume everyday can be polluted so badly. So, Save Bhavani Campaign has got a water sample of the River tested to reveal a more shocking fact. “We found 180 probable number of coliforms in 100 ml water sample taken from the river Bhavani. The result is highly unsatisfactory. We are unable to store the drinking water for even a few days as the water begins releasing a foul smell. We even see a change in the colour of water. Unless serious steps are taken to solve the problem, Bhavani river, a water source to Coimbatore and Tiruppur district, will turn similar to Noyyal river in future,” says M Jaikumar, one of the coordinators of the Save Bhavani Campaign.
While the Campaign members are trying to increase awareness among people on the condition of Bhavani water and are attempting to garner support to their campaign, the immediate need is for the Government to set up a sewage treatment plant, they say. “We have met the Mettupalayam Municipality Chairman, who has told us that they have sent a proposal,” Mani says.