To commemorate World Water Day, water collected from the source (sunai neer) of River Noyyal was distributed to the public here on Friday.
Kovai Kulangal Pathukappu Amaippu, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Coimbatore, arranged for the distribution of water at four points in the city: Race Course, Gandhipuram Central Bus Terminus, Ukkadam Bus Terminus and Town Hall Bus Stop.
R. Manikandan, the NGO’s organiser, told The Hindu about the intention behind organising this event for the second time after a similar event last year. “Noyyal originates in the Western Ghats. By the time the river comes to this city, it is heavily polluted. We felt that the next generation should know that this water is drinkable,” he said.
When asked how the water was collected from the river’s source, Mr. Manikandan said, “We took the help of the District Forest Officer to locate the spot where the water was free from the interference of people and animals and collected the water using cloth filters.”
Response from the public has been positive, according to Mr. Manikandan.
“When we organised this event last year, people came up to us and reminisced about how they used to drink from the river and lamented that it is no longer possible for their children to do so. Many of them who approached us have now become our volunteers,” he said.
Vanitha Mohan, Managing Trustee of Siruthuli, an NGO that focuses on water management, stressed on the role of the government in restoring the Noyyal river. “An action plan and a panel of experts are immediately needed. It is the duty of government to survey and identify the streams as we are amateurs. Steps must also be taken to curb illegal sand mining,” she told The Hindu.