By Mohanraj R, Somasundaram L and Nishadh K A
The authors are Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Management, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli; Director, Akara Research and Technologies, Chennai; and, Research Scholar, Salim Ali centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore respectively. email@example.com
River Noyyal, an important tributary of the Cauvery, was a significant source of water in Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode and Karur districts in the 1980s. Since the 1990s, effluent discharge from the dyeing and bleaching units in and around Tiruppur has ecologically damaged the river basin, bringing agriculture to a standstill. Despite judicial intervention and the setting up of common effluent treatment plants, the water quality remains unchanged.
Rivers are among the key natural resources of any country. Since a river flows over a large terrain, it supports a wide range of biodiversity and sustains the livelihoods and the well being of a myriad people and civilisations. Over the last few decades, haphazard urbanisation, unbridled expansion of manufacturing activities, burgeoning growth in the use of chemical inputs in agriculture and the sheer pressure of growing populations—both resident as well as floating, has made river ecosystems unsustainable in many...