The bathing ghats along the right bank of the River Cauvery at Chinthamani in the city are in a pathetic condition owing to poor maintenance, unchecked sewage flow, indiscriminate dumping of solid waste and encroachments.
Worried over the apparent lack of concern to these ancient structures, some of which are considered to be heritage structures, a section of activists and residents have called for urgent intervention from the civic body and the district authorities.
“There had existed several bathing ghats and mandapams along the right bank of the Cauvery between the Ayyalamman Padithurai and Odathurai. Now, hardly a couple exist and that too are crying for proper upkeep, besides the Ayyalamman Padithurai, “said N.Ramakrishnan, founder, MGR Nalpani Mandram. A survey should conducted to identify the historic structures and they should be properly maintained, he demanded.
Former councillor and resident of the locality, J.Senthilnathan, claimed that there had existed more than a dozen bathing ghats on the stretch several years ago. “Many have vanished and some are under encroachments. Only the Gandhi Padithurai and the Keezha Chinthamani padithurai are surviving now,besides the Ayyalamman Padithurai. But here too, the indiscriminate dumping of waste and sewage in the Chinthamani area flow pollute the bathing ghats ,” he said.
Mr.Senthilnathan was among those who had staged protests against the letting out of untreated sewage from a nearby treatment plant/pumping station as early as 1998. “When I was councillor during 2006-11, we had managed to check the sewage flow. But now garbage dumping and sewage flow goes on uncheched. Many of the houses on the banks directly let out the sewage into the river and dump wastes. Residents too need better awareness,” he observed.
Emphasising the need to maintain the bathing ghats which are heritage structures, Mr.Senthilnathan said they had represented the matter to Tiruchi East MLA Inigo Arockiaraj, who had reportedly promised to address the issue.