MADURAI: About 24,570 people including school and college students, volunteers and government officials participated in a mass Vaigai river cleaning drive in Madurai district on Thursday morning.
This is a part of a series of initiatives launched by the district collector Veera Raghava Rao, chairman of Vaigai River Restoration Committee, with a view to restore the 44-km stretch of the river in Madurai district. The Vaigai starts at Varusanadu hills in Theni and ends in Ramanathapuram district.
The committee compring officials from various government departments, experts in environment science and civil society members have set four important tasks- boundary marking and removal of encroachments; removal of solid and liquid waste; removal of jungle flora; and construction of water recharge structure and plantation along the boundary of Vaigai river.
Today, led by Mr. Rao, the Inspector General of police, South Zone, Shaliesh Kumar Yadav, Madurai city police commissioner Mahesh Kumar Agarwal removed the garbage in the river along with the people to emphasise the importance of preserving the river, which is closely tied to socio-cultural aspects of people belongs to southern districts.
“We want everybody living in Madurai to contribute to restoring the river. This initiative is aimed at bringing behaviour change so that people henceforth stop dumping wastes into the river,” said Rao to DC.
The official team has already started marking the boundaries of the river and removing the encroachments in the river stretch in the district.
The Public Works Department has engaged ten earth movers to remove the jungle flora from the river. The city corporation commissioner Dr Aneesh Sekhar already issued notice to 363 buildings for letting sewage water into Vaigai river. As no underground drainage system (UDS) was established in the erstwhile municipality and panchayat even after they were annexed with the corporation few years back, the corporation has prepared a detail project under ‘ATAL Mission Renovation and Urbanisation (AMRUT)’ to construct UDS in those areas in 2018-19.
Mr. Rao said construction of check dams have been proposed at five places along the river- near Arappalayam, Causeway road, Petchiamman Padithurai, Kuruvikaran salai and at Mariamman Teppakulam. A proposal for construction of bed dams across the river to supply water to Madakkulam taluk for an estimates cost of `62 crore has already been prepared and sent to the Chief Engineer, PWD, Plan Formulation, Chennai, for approval....