THOOTHUKUDI: It is double trouble for farmers here. While the recent downpour hit them hard, the Seemai Karuvelam plants on the Vaippar river bed is severely polluting the river water.
Most of the check dams and water bodies in the district have reached their full capacity in the recent rains.
But it is a different story in for farmers of Ettayapuram taluk, residing near the Keezhanambipuram check dam located across the Vaippar.
The area has a large presence of Seemai Karuvelam plants, the oil from which is getting mixed with the water stored in the check dam, thus polluting it and rendering it useless.
The High Court has already ordered the removal of the Seemai Karuvelam plant as it sucks all the water, but nothing has been done.
Paramasivan, a farmer from Keezhanambipuram, claimed the water has turned into a dark green colour with the oil mixing with the water. Also, it has a foul smell. “If this water is used to water plants, they would wilt. It cannot be used for drinking either,” rued Paramasivan.
MDMK Farmers’ Wing state vice-president Varadharajan claimed that it was not just the water at Keezhanambipuram that was contaminated. Even the water in the wells in neighbouring Ayanrajapatti, Keezhanattukurichi, Muthalapuram and Vadamalapuram were polluted.
“Initially, we thought that the stored water would meet their needs for more than three years, but the current issue may push us back into a drought-like situation of 2010,” the farmers feared.
Ettayapuram tahsildar Jaganathan said he had sent a proposal to the PWD executive engineer and contacted other higher officials regarding the removal of the plant. He said the panchayat president and VAO were consulted and the process was about to begin, when the rains pour cold water on it. He assured that he would submit a fresh proposal to the PWD and make sure that steps were taken to remove the Seema Karuvelam plants as early as possible.