THOOTHUKUDI: Naam Tamilar Katchi cadre urged the district administration to check unlawful extraction of groundwater for industries even while droughts have been haunting the rural public in Thoothukudi.
NKT district secretary Velraj said the absence of monsoon rainfall coupled with soaring mercury levels, had triggered drought in Thoothukudi. "However, in a small hamlet of Allikulam, a handful of landowners drilled have 70 borewells within a stretch of one kilometre -- all without authorisation, and have been dispatching several hundred loads of groundwater for industrial use round the clock. The unauthorised borewells have depleted groundwater resources while the looming water crisis in the villages has already affected the public and the cattle," he said.
The NTK parliamentary constituency secretary Rajasekar charged that a private company near Arumuganeri has been drawing water from Thamirabarani River at the Mukkani check dam despite the water shortage. The district administration must look into the issue and stop illegal extraction of groundwater, and make appropriate arrangements to meet the water needs of the public and cattle, he added.
Meanwhile, the people of Kattalangulam besieged four tanker lorries extracting water from borewells that were sealed by the district administration six months ago. "The public said the sub-collector had sealed over 17 bore wells following an order from the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court six months ago. The bore well operators broke the government seals and have been extracting water illegally round the clock. Despite informing the officials concerned, they have remained mute spectators," the villagers charged. The illegal extraction of water has affected agriculture and cattle rearing in the areas besides drinking water shortage, the protesters said.