The villagers living at the foothills of Kalvarayan in Villipuram have alleged that the many cases of kidney failures in their villages are caused by water contaminated with high-intensity explosives used in nearby quarries, according to The New Indian Express.
Nearly 30 people have died due to kidney failure and around 200 people including school children are having kidney and liver problems. There are about 2500 families living in that area.
Gajendran, an activist told The New Indian Express, “The quarry is the main cause of water contamination. The quarry has been functioning from 2000 to 2010.” He also said that the private contractor was using high-intensity explosives at Mattarapai village near Parigam. He added that the people living in the Mattarapai village have no kidney problems or water contamination issues.
The former village president T Jayakumar said that they had told the Tamil Nadu Water Resources Organisation about these problems and the officials took water samples and said that the groundwater was not fit for drinking, according to the NIE report. The villagers were asked to only use hot water and buy packaged water cans to avoid health issues. The villagers said that they cannot afford water cans and continued using contaminated water and are now suffering from kidney problems.
Sources quoted by TNIE said that now the village is known as ‘kidney failure parigam’ among doctors and many doctors refer them to Government hospitals in Salem and Chennai without taking proper tests.
The villagers said that about 200 petitions were filed by the villagers to the Revenue District Officer, BDO and Collector and claim that no action has been taken by them.
However, the RDO has refused to entertain any petitions from the villagers.