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Frothing Uyyakondan is ‘ok, not alarming’ for TNPCB

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To the surprise of the Trichy residents, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board disclosed that water of Uyyakondan canal is normal and pollution is ‘not’ alarming. According to it, the test results of water samples collected by its officials from the canal show that the surface water is normal and free from residues of industrial effluents. TNPCB sources said that all parameters of Uyyakondan water fall within the tolerance level of TNPCB standards. However, the result did not go well with the residents. They said that the samples were collected from the canal’s entry point to the city and asked for conducting a study by collecting samples from the canal where pollution is high.

The 1000-year contour canal built during the period of Chola great Raja Raja Chola was in news recently as public has been demanding the restoration of the waterbody plagued by pollution. Frothing was reported in the Uyyakondan canal between May 10 and May 12, 2018. When residents spotted plumes of foam near Kuzhumayi Amman temple, TNPCB officials, as per the directives of the district administration, collected water sample from the PWD aqueduct near Kuzhumayi Amman temple on May 11. After a month, when TOI approached the officials for the test results, the TNPCB sources shared the results which show that the water is normal and pollution level is ‘not’ alarming. Senior officials with TNPCB here said that the results did not acknowledge the presence of industrial effluents. "Results of our laboratory test have disclosed that all the six parameters we checked fall well within the tolerance level as set by TNPCB for safe water quality. There is no possibility of industrial effluents flowing into the Uyyakondan," a senior official with TNPCB said.
It seems that the test result did not go well with the consumer organisations and farmers who have been voicing for the restoration of the polluted canal. "Other than rain water, no other liquid discharge should enter the canal. People know that Uyyakondan is highly polluted, and the TNPCB test result is far from reality," M Sekaran, president, Thanneer NGO said.

Though the TNPCB test result put Uyyakondan in good view, farmers have flayed the board for collecting samples from a ‘safe’ place. They collected samples from near a point where the canal enters the city. It is no wonder that the test result showed Uyyakondan’s water as normal, said the farmers.
When asked about the reasons for frothing, TNPCB officials claimed that frothing could have been the result of the heavy downpour in May over the detergent or soap particles deposited and dried over the canal.

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