MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court directed the state government to consider a representation seeking to change the name of the Thamirabarani river to 'Porunai'. The petitioner SMA Pon Gandhimathinathan, a member of the advisory committee of the Thoothukudi district consumer protection department and a former member of the monitoring committee of the national green tribunal, sought to change the river's name by relying on Tamil literary references and the report of Archeology department.
Porunai is a perennial river that originates from Agastyarkoodam peak of Pothigai hills in Western Ghats and it flows through Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, and Tenkasi districts and joins the sea at the Gulf of Mannar. There are countless materials available across the state, where the name of the river is mentioned as 'Than Poruntham' and 'Than Porunai', which transformed into 'Tamira Porunai', before becoming Thamirabarani, he said, adding that 'Porunai' is the pure Tamil word and a symbol of Tamil culture and civilization and identity of South India. He also referred to various books in Tamil literature, addressing the River Thamirabarani as River Porunai.
A division bench of Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad, who heard the case, directed the state to consider the representation, in the light of the Tamil literary references as well as the report submitted by the Archaeological Department and pass appropriate orders, on merits and in accordance with the law, within a period of three months.