Kancheepuram: There is a scramble for masks in the temple town of Kancheepuram as the locals and visiting pilgrims try to cover their nostrils hoping to escape from the horrid stench of dead fish in the holy water tank of the famous Ekambareswarar temple.
The fish have perished in thousands as the tank dried up-not only due to the summer heat but also because the local administration has failed in its upkeep.
Locals complain bitterly that the foul smell of the dead fish has made it difficult to live in the neighbourhood and the fear of disease breaking out is also haunting.
“Most of us here are strict vegetarians. This foul smell has made life miserable. Our complaints to authorities have not yielded results so far”, said a resident.
He said the temple tank-which is one of the four tanks belonging to the famous Shiva shrine-stretches over an area of eight acres and is known as 'Sarva Theertha Kulam'.
It was last de-silted in 2011 at a cost of about Rs 49 lakh. Nothing was done for its upkeep after that.
Not just that; several encroachments have cropped up in the area blocking the rainwater channels from reaching the tank. Large amount of rainwater gets collected as little slushy ponds on the roads and goes evaporated in the heat of the sun, said another local resident.
“The administration should remove these encroachments and create the rainwater channels leading to the tank. Also, the tank must be de-silted before the monsoon rains arrive”, he said....