Krishnagiri: In August 2003, cholera outbreak was reported in few villages along the course of the South Pennar river in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts of Tamil Nadu.
As many as 979 cases were reported and 45 among them had died that year, but no lessons learnt either by Tamil Nadu or Karnataka over the issue of effluents let into the South Pennar river.
"Our role after the cholera outbreak has just ended by blaming Karnataka as responsible for the illness reported here. Karnataka to its part accepted the mistake and keeps quiet without fulfilling its promise to take remedial measures," S. Sundaramoorthi, an advocate and social activist of Hosur said.
Sundaramoorthi added: "recent frothing noticed by our farmers at Kodiyalam, from where the river enters Tamil Nadu has proved that nothing was done to stop the pollution by Karnataka even after 16 years since 2003"
The South Pennar river starts from the Nandi hills in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka and flows through Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvanamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore districts after entering Tamil Nadu.
It covers over 400-km before joining the Bay of Bengal at Cuddalore and has 3,690-sq km as its water catchment areas. Besides, the river also receives water from Chinnar, Markandaya, Vanniyar and Pambar rivers, tributaries of the South Pennar.
The problem for the river starts at Varathur and Bellandur lakes. Traces of total dissolved solids found by the Tamil Nadu pollution Control Board showed not only domestic sewerages, but also effluents from 181 industries around Bellandur flows into the river.
"The problem continues though Karnataka initiated action against the polluting industries following the court order to save Bellandur Lake. However, the issue continues despite the drive against the violators. Karnataka needs to take stringent measures to save South Pennar by ending the issue,