ARIYALUR: Concerns have arisen regarding the infrequent cleaning of overhead drinking water tanks in numerous village panchayats across Ariyalur district, with reports that the accumulation of dust within the tanks was adversely affecting water quality.
Ariyalur district encompasses 201 village panchayats that rely exclusively on overhead water tanks for drinking water. It is imperative that the tanks are cleaned every two weeks and clear records of cleaning dates are kept. Unfortunately, several panchayats in the district, including Vetriyur, Kandiratheertham, Elandakudam, Palayapadi, Thirumalapadi, Ponparappi, and Periya Thirukonam, have witnessed a lapse in proper tank maintenance for months.
Consequently, the water in these tanks has become contaminated with dust and green algae. Vadakku Mathur villagers also reported finding worms in their drinking water supply. Despite repeated complaints during Grama Sabha meetings, no substantial action has been taken, leaving residents with no alternative but to consume the contaminated water. C Anbudasan, a resident of Vetriyur, expressed his frustration, stating, 'Our village tank has not been cleaned for several months, resulting in a thick layer of green algae and severely compromising water quality.
We requested water testing during the last Grama Sabha meeting, but no action was taken.' D Mathiyazhagan of Periyakurichi added, 'Drinking water in our village is already unhygienic, forcing us to boil it before consumption. Adding to it, the uncleaned tanks have given the water an unpleasant odour.' Meanwhile, in Ponparappi, the steps leading up to the tank have been reportedly damaged. "Wonder how they clean the tank," said V Sathya, a resident.
A senior officer from the Ariyalur Rural Development Department said, "We have issued explicit instructions for the thorough cleaning of water tanks following a recent meeting with officials. They are now taking the necessary steps to ensure comprehensive cleaning.'