The River that Tamil Nadu keeps forgetting about
Rich in lore and life lies Tamirabarani, a river connected by hundreds of streams and small rivers up in the Western Ghats. Unfortunate for us, the river is on the verge of drying up unless the southwest monsoon plans to not miss Tamil Nadu this time around.
For years now, the river has had to battle with drying up because of global warming, human activities and lack of monsoon. Though there is no lack of life or nutrients in it, the end of the river may soon be on the verge.
The village people who live close by the river banks talk about the unique and pure taste of the water. Vegetation and nutrient rich soil determine that there is something special about it. Unfortunately for these people, they may soon not be that fortunate as the southwestern monsoon forgets to swing by Tamil Nadu, resulting in the death of the river.
The village people carry out rituals to call in the clouds and pray for a miracle. It is vital for them to sustain the river in order to go about their daily life and protect the fish and plants that reside in it.
There isn’t much they can do, the main river is pretty dried up and the Papanasam dam has been shut. A power plant not 60 kilometers away also shut down due to lack of water.
Experts have told us that there still may be hope for Tamirabarani as monsoon isn’t the only factor that can save it. Mist from the mountains helps keep the surface moist throughout the year while leaves and barks that fall into the river make the water rich in nutrients.
If mining and feckless sand are removed from the river banks, there may still be a ray of hope left and let us hope the village people take a stand for survival. If not, it may be an unfortunate twist of events for hundreds of people and wildlife.
People should also learn to manage waste water. Recycling is the key to sustenance of not only the river but for the people as well.