KOZHIKODE: The 109-day stir of the residents of 17 mile near Kallanod in Perambra has come to an end after Koorachund gram panchayat ordered closure of 17 illegal pig farms. The meeting between the protesters and the panchayat ended on a cordial note after the former made it clear that no farm would be allowed to function troubling peoples’ life and causing pollution. “We are withdrawing the stir as per the promise given by the panchayat. As many as 17 farms which polluted our water bodies and lives had been shut down. If any backtracking on the promise occurs, we will resume the strike,” said E.C Cheriyan, the convener of the action committee.
Koorachundu gram panchayat has a total of 27 farms of which 14 functioned in ward 6 under which 17 mile falls. Chicken waste collected from hotels in Kozhikode city was given to pigs here. Over the years, waste from the farm, which is in the high ranges, had polluted the wells at the bottom. The foul smell even led to guests not visiting their relatives in the area. Koorachundu ward 6 member Karthika Vijayan said that there were only six licensed farms in the panchayat now and the decision on the application of another four would be decided after inspection. “Pig farms which follows hygienic, non-polluting rules and which function away from residential areas only should be given permission,” she said.
The local residents allege that diphtheria break-out in Nambikulam, Vattachira areas in the panchayat has to do with waste dumping meant for pig farms. Already two diphtheria deaths had been reported here. “Earlier, few farms were here and it didn’t affect lives. Later more cropped up and more waste from chicken stalls were brought here making our lives miserable,” lamented Mr Cheriyan. The proprietors are collecting waste on payment basis. “Collecting waste is a good source of income. Along with waste, money is also collected per kilogram. A part of the waste is given to pigs and the remaining is dumped,” says N.V Devan, localite.