Plastic waste pollutes River Vasishta at Attur

It is now a big sewer emanating foul odour

ATTUR: River Vasishta that once kept Attur and its neighbourhood green has become dirty and unholy.

Non-biodegradable: Plastic waste choking River Vasishta at Attur in Salem district. —Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

The river, which once supplied drinking water to the people who resided on its banks, is dying slowly with indiscriminate dumping of plastic garbage.

It supplied water for irrigation to over 10,000 hectares in Salem, Villupuram, Cuddalore and other areas.

The stretch of river near Attur town has become a big sewer emanating foul odour and has also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes that besiege residents at all hours of the day and night.

At one time, the river happened to be the livelihood resource for hundreds of farmers and drinking water for many more.

Cauvery River in Mettur, a source located some 120 kilometres away from Attur town is now supplying water to its residents.

Plastic waste has blocked water flow in the river.

Garbage mounds, the people here say, remain without being cleared for years with not a single attempt to remove them.

Despite repeated requests from people, farmers and environmentalists, the Attur municipality shows no interest in keeping the river clean.

“There is no proper rehabilitation scheme for the river which cuts through the town on the lines of Tirumanimutharu River rehabilitation project in Salem. The worst affected are the farmers downstream who still depend on its water for farming activities,” said a farmer.

When contacted, officials in Attur municipality claimed that they had been collecting garbage at the door steps under the solid waste management scheme.

But they have no clinching answer to the insensitive dumping of garbage on the river bed, thus killing the water body effectively.


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