Residents in a state of shock to witness the unusual development
Residents living near Sellur tank were in for a shock when they discovered froth and foam floating in the tank on Saturday morning, following the heavy rains witnessed in the district on Friday night.
Abu Bakkar of Neer Nilaigal Pathukappu Iyakkam said that residents started noticing a huge quantum of foam floating in Sellur tank from the early hours of Saturday.
Fire and Rescue Services personnel reached the tank to spray water to subside the foam. "The foam was around four feet in height when we went to spray water on the foam," said a personnel.
A Public Works Department official said that following the heavy downpour on Friday night, many tanks in the city were filled. "Likewise, the chain of tanks that supplies water to Sellur tank got filled. The Sellur tank had a surplus on Saturday after a gap of four years," he said.
Most of these tanks have been contaminated with untreated household sewage and drainage. "In many areas, the households directly discharge the sewage into the nearby water bodies due to the lack of a proper underground drainage system. Hence, the contaminated sewage that flowed from all these tanks led to the formation of froth," he said.
Concurring with this viewpoint, Mr. Abu Bakkar said that all these tanks were earlier used for irrigation purposes. "With rapid urbanisation, the agricultural lands have turned to houses and residences," he said.
Water hyacinths, an invasive aquatic weed, thrives on the Sellur tank, said Mr. Abu Bakkar. "Apart from untreated sewage, construction debris and medical debris is also dumped inside the tank," he alleged.
Mr. Abu Bakkar stressed on the need to remove encroachments to restore the tank to its original capacity.
The Madurai Urban Congress Committee President V. Karthikeyan, who visited the spot, said that though the AIADMK had claimed to clean the tank and give a facelift, during the 2016 electioneering, the froth and foam only showed that they have failed in their promise to the people.
At least now, the Corporation, which has been giving high hopes of making Madurai into a Smart City, should ensure that the tank was free from encroachments, he said in a press release.
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