TIRUCHY: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) will be keeping a close watch of the efforts taken by the Tiruchy City Municipal Corporation to save the Uyyakondan canal from pollution. The tribunal recently issued a direction to the Tiruchy Corporation, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), the Additional Chief Secretary of Municipal Administration, the Additional Chief Secretary of Water Supply, and the Collector to keep it updated once in six months about the progress of the works done to stop pollution.
The canal was built by King Raja Raja Chozhan for irrigation of 32,742 acres and for feeding 36 tanks indirectly in Tiruchy and Thanjavur. The canal is branching off from the Cauvery and runs to a length of 71 km in Tiruchy district and 8 km within the city. The tribunal took a serious note of the fact that the stretch within the city is largely affected by the discharge of untreated sewage in many areas. Last year, the tribunal registered a suo motu case on the information about the contamination of the canal's water due to discharge of untreated sewage and dumping of waste.
The tribunal, which took up the case, directed the Collector, TNPCB, Corporation and the PWD to submit a report on this issue. The Corporation told the tribunal that the completion of the underground drainage system under the Smart Cities Mission scheme and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation will stop the flow of sewage to the canal. The Corporation, which submitted a detailed report of the progress of the underground drainage works said the works will be completed by May 2023. It also informed the tribunal that it has taken action on individual houses which are not connected to sewer lines and letting untreated sewage into the canal.
The tribunal stressed that the Corporation must complete the drainage works as quickly as possible and not extend it beyond the fixed deadline. It also directed the civic body to file a progress report of the works once in six months.
The tribunal also directed the TNPCB to file reports once in six months about the quality of water in the canal and the implementation of Solid Waste Management rules. If pollution board found any violation, it must take action against violators, including the Corporation, for non-implementation of rules.
The NGT also said the Additional Chief Secretary of Municipal Administration and Additional Chief Secretary of Water Supply must monitor the works and ensure that they are completed within the deadline. Further, it asked the two Additional Chief Secretaries and the Collector to submit a report once in six months.