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Sewage flows unchecked into Uyyakondan canal

Though the Public Works Department has launched efforts to remove water hyacinth from certain stretches of the Uyyakondan canal in the city, the weed continues to grow unabated thanks to the continuous flow of household sewage into the canal.

The PWD has deployed a couple of earth movers and a team of labourers to remove the weed in places such as Palakkarai.

A senior official, when contacted, said that the weed growth is being removed from certain “vulnerable places.”

The weed is also being removed from places based on public complaints, he said.

Sources in the PWD say continuous flow of sewage into the canal results in the weed growth and residents living along the canal should cooperate by stopping the discharge of sewage from their households into the canal.

Open drains and household sewage continues to flow directly into the canal even after the PWD executed a rehabilitation project sanctioned by the State government at an estimate of ₹11.50 crore.

Although fences and retaining wall were built along the city stretch of the canal, sewage flow has not stopped.

The canal runs for a distance of about 71 km from Pettavaithalai to Vazhavanthankottai and has an ayacut of 32,000 acres and feeds 36 tanks. Several open drains and sewage from houses were let directly into the canal on a seven-km stretch between Palakkarai and Ariyamangalam. In 2014, voluntary organisations launched a campaign to clean up the urban stretch of the Uyyakondan canal and raise awareness against letting sewage into the canal.

Corporation officials had announced then that 34 places have been identified where sewage flowed into the canal and steps would be taken to plug them. Even though civic officials say that efforts were on to connect the houses along the canal to the underground sewage network, the Corporation has not been able to stop the sewage flow into the canal yet.

“It is very important to stop the sewage flow into the canal immediately. The Corporation should do so within a specific time frame. Otherwise, the money invested on the rehabilitation project would go waste. We have repeatedly raised the issue at the meetings of the Uyyakondan Protection Committee,”said M. Sekaran, president, Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations, and member of the Uyyakondan Protection Committee, which is headed by the Collector.


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