VILLUPURAM: Seven years of sand mining in T Pudhupalayam village has led to severe depletion of groundwater levels, allege villagers.
During a recent protest against the construction of a government quarry on Thenpennai riverbed in T Pudhupalayam, villagers said the falling levels of groundwater is a consequence of soil erosion caused by mining.
“Groundwater has never fallen below 10-12 feet since I was a child, but this year, we had to drill up to 50 feet for water. The only reason is rampant sand mining by the government on the riverbed, for the past seven years. We did not realise its impact earlier but are feeling the consequences now. Agriculture, which is our livelihood, has been affected badly and that is why we are protesting against the sand mining quarry,” said S Arivazhagan, a resident at T Pudhupalayam.
K Ramesh, a farmer from the village told Express that construction of a new sand mining quarry began with a small room being built right on the middle of the riverbed, but was stopped after severe opposition from the villagers.
“At some places, the riverbed has been dug up to seven to eight feet over the past few years and so groundwater levels have fallen.”