Tirunelveli: The murky water released from Papanasam dam is feared to trigger waterborne diseases.
The major water source of water supply for the three southern districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar districts, Papanasam dam on the western ghats in Tirunelveli across Thamirabarani river got dried up this year due to the delayed monsoon.
The dam’s water level hardly at 9-ft on Wednesday against its maximum storage capacity of 143-ft became murky due to the presence of sludge as the dam was complained to have not been desilted even once since it was commissioned in 1942. Despite the water being muddy, the PWD has no other go but to use it for drinking purpose and hence around 25 cusecs is being discharged for drinking purpose.
Even fish could not survive in the contaminated water that has been discharged into the river. This is a great cause for concern, according to Thoothukudi MP, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, who alleges the apathy of the administration to ensure safe drinking water to the people of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar districts. She also demanded action on war footing to desilt the Papanasam dam before the Southwest monsoon.
As the Papanasam dam has dried up, the hydroelectric power station--4x8MW operated by Tangedco too suspended its generation, when the power consumption is at its peak....