Tuesday, January 03, 2006

River and the Real Owner


Who is to blame for destructing the river Noyyal?

They conserve the river! They are the real owners of the river!!

Drop the plan of evacuating them!!!

The Chennai high court has recently passed an order to remove `occupations' along the riversides in Tamilnadu. It has reflected the other side of the coin in Coimbatore district. The district administration and corporation of Coimbatore city have stepped in to action following the HC order and issued notices to hundreds of families which have their settlements along sides of river Noyyal to evacuate at once.

The thousands of people belonging to hundreds of families living alongsides of Noyyal near Singanallur ponds and Nanjundapuram village near Coimbatore city face severe bottle – neck problem due to the administrative measure. On 10th October, 2005 thousands of people affected by the administrative measure rocked the collector's office and staged a demonstration against the evacuation effort of the administration.

The agitating people advocate that they live in the particular places for about half a century period and eke out their livelihoods by working as coolies in the nearby farms. They have not blocked the water flow by any means by raising their simple huts and tiled houses. Indeed they used to frequently cleanse the river banks and canals of the river. Hence the rive appears unpolluted in their places. Their residences are approved by government with grant of electricity, drinking water supply and public toiletry built by government. So there is no point to evacuate them who are part and parcel of the river side environment.

EKU supports their view strongly. In fact, the slow death of the river Noyyal is caused by the illegal act of the export based garment industries functioning in Coimbatore and Tiruppur urbans. The industrial units, despite several guidelines issued by the HC violate all rules behind screen and freely emit their waste waters in to the river. Now the industrial units are ultimately warned and directed by the HC to make enough compensation deposits and employ sufficient technology to purify waste waters before emitting in to the river. Yet the industries are not whole heartedly willing to obey the HC order and adopts various covert strategies to avoid incurring expenses in employing new technologies to purify waste waters and making deposits.

When, thus, the culprit shows his face in the day light, poor people are often blamed for the pollution made to river water. In fact, these people conserve the river environment by their sincere cleansing effort and protect the natural resource. They are the real saviors of the river. Though there are a number of bans for industrial activities which pollute river water, the industrialists skillfully violate law and make the river as their waste water ditch.

The industrialists have also promoted many pseudo environment groups in the district to `protect' the river Noyyal. The forefront pseudo environment group "Siruthuli' being fostered by millionaires of Coimbatore district recently held a `holi yatra' to make awareness for protecting river Noyyal and show of themselves as river protectors when they themselves are river destructors. They compared their `holi – yatra' as equalant to the `Dandi March' and called their pseudo effort as `the second Dandi Yatra' ! The so-called environment group `Siruthuli' does not speak a single word against the sufferings of the poor people who conserve the river in real sense and are now facing problem of evacuating.

EKU is trying to shed light on the real side of the situation in Coimbatore district with regard to the issue of Noyyal. We oppose the administrative measures directed against the working masses who are the real owners of the river and river environment, and stand against any effort to put their lives in peril.

We request the concerned ones to please write your anger to the Coimbatore administration against evacuating the people living as part of the Noyyal environment and protect them in their living places. You can use the following letter for registering your protest with the Government of Tamilnadu and Coimbatore Corporation

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