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PWD plans annual desilting to save Uyyakondan river

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In a bid to save dying Uyyakondan river, the public works department (PWD) has decided to recommend an annual desilting of the river. It is also mulling to fence off its stretches to check the flow of waste into the river.
The move is based on a public interest litigation filed in the Trichy district court a few days ago, seeking directions to the authorities concerned to prevent pollution.
With the project estimated to cost a huge sum, the PWD will ask fund from the city corporation, which remained a mute spectator to the situation thus far. This is apart from the fund to be allocated by the state government.
Though the case is set to come up for hearing on Monday, the court had already sought clarification from the district collector, the city corporation commissioner and officials from the Tamil Nadu pollution control board on the issue.
The 72-km-long Uyyaokndan River narrows down along its six-km stretch, from Puthur to Ariyamangalam. This stretch is the worst polluted as the residents in the banks of the canal flow the household directly into the canal.
A PWD senior official said the local residents added to the river's pity condition by dumping huge amount of garbage in it, leading to a high population of water hyacinth. "Concrete fencing along the river will help prevent such activities," he said
The official said that if the sewage flow was not prevented, the issue would remain unsolved. The civic body has to take steps to stop residents from polluting the river. This apart, annual desilting of the river could help keep the river clean, the officer said.

Collector K Rajamani said the final plan will be submitted by the officials on Monday, stating that the PWD has been preparing an action plan on clearing Uyyakondan River.
The river with an ayacut of 32,000 acres feeding several irrigation tanks from Cauvery near Pettavaithalai to Valavanthankottai in Pudukkottai.
Meanwhile, Thaneer- a Trichy voluntary organisation president M Sekaran said that the move will only waste the taxpayer's money. "The river was de-silted only a year ago at a cost of Rs 12 crore. Annual de-silting will only result in wastage of tax payer's money," he said.
Calling for a far-sighted plan to prevent the pollution, he said that unless there was a behavioral change among the residents and realise the impacts of the polluting the river, a real change could not be brought about.


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