Beset by pollution woes from quarries, locals seek TNPCB branch office in Perambalur
Alleging several mines are functioning in violation of rules residents of villages like K Eraiyur, Kalpadi and Chettikulam complain of dust pollution from the movement of hundreds of heavy vehicles.
PERAMBALUR: Beset by air and water pollution woes from the 50-odd quarries and mines operating alongside the 100 private crusher units in the district, residents and activists seek the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to set up a dedicated branch office in Perambalur so that grievances can at least be put forth with the officials concerned at the earliest.
While agriculture dominates activities, 100 private crusher units, and 54 quarries and mines operate out of the district. Alleging several of them functioning in violation of rules, residents of villages like K Eraiyur, Kalpadi, Chettikulam and Thiruvilakurichi complain of dust pollution from the movement of hundreds of heavy vehicles in and out of the units.
Also, wastewater and the discharge from sewage treatment plants (STP) are let into waterbodies, they add. Pointing to the nearest PCB office about 40 km away, at Keezhapalur in Ariyalur district, locals seek the establishment of a branch office in Perambalur so that pollution issues can be addressed and complaints can be raised faster. S Raghavan of Perali, an activist, said,
"STP discharge has been let into River Marudaiyaru in Perambalur for many years. If there is a PCB office here, we can raise such issues. Officials can also address them immediately." C Duraimurugan of Eraiyur said, "Over 10 crusher units operate in and around our village through the day. Due to this, dust and emissions from the units are deposited on our houses and fields.
Fearing the dust we keep our doors and windows shut. Seeds do not germinate properly due to the dust settling in fields. We cannot even breathe clean air as the entire village is engulfed in dust. With no PCB office in Perambalur, no regular inspections are held despite the submission of petitions.
When contacted, a senior official from the TNPCB office in Ariyalur said, "We have already placed a request with the government for a separate office in Perambalur. If there are any problems there, the officials concerned here will head there and address them."