Salem/ Namakkal: In what looks a replica of toxic foams in Bengaluru lakes, a similar environmental hazard has scared local residents and farmers living close to the Thirumanimuthaaru river in Salem and Namakkal districts as the water body heavily frothed along different stretches on Tuesday.
The Thirumanimuthaaru, which begins near Salem flows through various parts of the district before entering Namakkal district and is an important irrigation source for farmers along its banks particularly during the Northeast monsoon season, informed sources told DC.
With heavy pre-monsoon rains in the last two days in these districts, the river was getting copious flows.
But what worried the farmers today was thick coat of foam noticed at different places on Thirumanimuthaaru river. At Aathukaadu near Veerapandi near Salem, locals were in for a big shock when they noticed the river frothing this morning.
Farmers and local residents complained that this frothing phenomenon could be the result of untreated chemical effluents let out by cloth dyeing units and other factories directly into the river mixing with a heavy volume of water in the wake of the monsoon rains.
A similar thick coat of froth in the river up to a height of ten feet was seen in some stretches of the same river at Madhiyampatti village near Rasipuram in Namakkal district also. Farmers expressed apprehension that 500 acres of cultivated land there could be severely affected due to this frothing in the river.
The white foamy substance was so large that it spilled over into the Madhiyampatti-Mallasamudram road, affecting movement of vehicular traffic for several hours today. Drivers found negotiating the road very risky, they said.
Demanding action by the Pollution Control Board to stop industrial units from discharging raw effluents into the river, locals also pointed out that when more effluents are discharged by the industries taking advantage of the heavy rains, this sort of frothing phenomenon occurred.