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Damage caused to the bund in Moongil Kulam, a rural irrigation tank at Ponnimandurai Pudhupatti in Tamil Nadu has led to an alleged discharge of a large volume of tannery effluents that entered local villages and have raised concerns over health in a cluster of villages in Dindigul district.
Effluent has polluted the Alankulam and Moongil Kulam tanks, causing damage to arable land, health of residents and cattle. Four calves died and several children and women had developed skin diseases, residents allege.
“Water in wells has turned unfit for any use. We cannot use the water for washing and cleaning. It causes itching sensation in our skin. Many children have contracted skin diseases,” said K. Amudha of Pudhupatti.
“The bund of Moongil Kulam is often damaged letting effluent discharged from tanneries from nearby areas into it directly. Now, tannery effluents have contaminated both the tanks and flooded nearby villages, polluting well water,” said the residents.
A huge haul of fish in the tank died immediately, they alleged.
Even as the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and tanners point to a common effluent treatment plant functioning on the Theni-Dindigul bypass, residents alleged that the tank water was violet in colour and a foul smell was emanating from it.
The tank bund has been strengthened but unidentified people have been alleged at damaging the bunds dating back to 2008 to allow a quick flow of tannery effluents automatically into the tank.
“Agriculture has become a thing of the past. We cannot even raise fodder for cattle. We struggle to protect cattle and goats. Once again, our survival and life of our children are under threat,” say local residents.
Source: The Hindu