THOOTHUKUDI: Residents took over tanker lorries that were allegedly tapping groundwater from unauthorised sealed borewells at Kamaraj Nagar and Imayam in Servaikaranmadam village panchayat.
"The tanker lorries are tapping water for commercial purposes from borewells sealed by the court and interventions from the collector a few years ago. Landowners who drilled the borewells broke the seals and were supplying water until the collector sealed it again in 2022," they charged. Borewell water suppliers started tapping groundwater as the water demand for industries intensified due to a shortage.
Panchayat ward members led by Vice President Angelin Jenitta said Thoothukudi BDO assured of action against those who broke the government seals in a reply to the petitions. However, no action was taken until now, she said.
Protesters said Sawyerpuram police who came to the spot released the tankers from the captivity of the protesters instead of taking action. "The police have colluded with those acting against the law and court orders. At a time when the panchayat has no adequate water, commercialisation of groundwater needs to be stopped," they added.
The villagers also urged police to register an FIR against the culprits, close the illegal borewells, disconnect its electricity service, and penalise the operators. "Depleting water sources in Servaikaranmadam have affected the agricultural activity in the area. Now, there is a scarcity for drinking water," said Saravanan, a farmer.