VELLORE: Once a lifeline in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Kancheepuram, and Villupuram districts, the Palar river now lies in a pathetic condition now with none to care for its conservation.
Dumping of debris and construction waste into the river running through the heart of Vellore city is also going unchecked which is compounding to the damage. Private trucks moving down into the river bed to dump the construction debris has become a usual sight.
In the recent days, solid waste such as construction debris collected from places, where developmental works under the Smart City project are being carried out, is being dumped in gross violation of the norms of river conservation and environmental protection.
Palar river protection activists urge the concerned authorities to take stringent action against those who are responsible for the unscrupulous action.
“There are guidelines for handling construction debris but the violators seem to be unmindful of its adverse impact. Stringent action must be initiated against them,” says ‘Palar’ AC Venkatesan, leader of Palar River Protection Movement.
Another activist, ‘Ambalur’ A Asokan, who is also a member of the Reversal of Ecology Committee, laments, “If the protector turns destroyer what we can do?”
The river has already been bleeding with unscrupulous mining of sand at several places. “We have already written to the Vellore City Municipal Corporation (VCMC) asking the authorities concerned to remove the debris dumped in the river. Now I will check again,” says Viswanathan, Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) of Water Resources Organisation (WRO) of PWD.
Anyone who crosses the Palar bridge, beside the New Bus Stand in the Fort City, can see piles of debris. The officials of the pollution watchdog are yet to take cognizance of the matter.
District Environmental Engineer (DEE) of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) Ravichandran, says, “I will visit the spot and check the debris. And then will take necessary action.”
However, the commissioner of VCMC N Sankaran said he had already warned against dumping of debris in the river bed and will see if there are any fresh heaps. “I have already warned (the contractors) against dumping of the debris in the river. I will check whether fresh heaps of debris have been dumped. If so, will initiate action,” he said.