The death of two minors by drowning in the Cauvery at Mukkombu — a popular tourist hotspot near Tiruchi — last month has prompted the Public Works department (PWD) to put in place a temporary measure to deter visitors from venturing into the water.
The department has placed dried prosopis juliflora (seemai karuvelam) to a distance of over 100 metres along the river’s right bank to prevent visitors from entering into the water.
The upper barrage at Mukkombu, maintained by PWD, has 41 shutters through which the Cauvery water gets released.
According to PWD officials, some visitors on seeing the stagnant water venture deep inside unaware of the depth and the risky situation resulting in tragedy. Several drowning cases have been reported at Mukkombu notwithstanding installation of display boards cautioning visitors against venturing into the water.
The latest tragedy was reported in April-end when a jolly trip turned tragic for a 15-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy who drowned in the Cauvery. The minor boy from Gujilamparai in Dindigul district was spending his summer vacation at a relative’s house in Tiruchi. Another boy, who was with them, was rescued by locals.
PWD officials say the depth cannot be easily judged as one ventures deep into the water. It is said to be more between the third and the 20th shutter of the upper barrage.
The tragedies have taken place despite repeated attempts in creating awareness among people to desist from venturing into the water, they rue. Except for pool of stagnant water near the shutters and a little distance away from it, the water body by and large presents a dry sight.
The placing of dry prosopis juliflora shrubs on the Cauvery’s right bank is a temporary measure to deter visitors from venturing into the water, say the officials, adding that tourists too have to exercise caution.
(source : The Hindu)