Mettur, February 28, 2008 — A chemical spill from Mettur-based micronutrient manufacturer Meenakshi Chemicals has contaminated several kilometres of a stream that empties into the River Kaveri. According to the West Gonur Agriculturists Development Union, a chemical storage tank in the company manufacturing magnesium sulphate collapsed on 24 February releasing its toxic contents into the stream. The stream irrigates close to 900 acres belonging to 47 land titleholders, of which at least 300 acres are said to be affected by the recent spill. Meenakshi Chemicals is a repeat offender, according to the Union.
A pregnant cow that consumed the stream water is severely ill, and may not recover. A Government veterinarian who examined the cow said the illness is not due to natural causes. Rather, it is due to consumption of contaminated feed or water. The cow is reportedly bringing out its insides every time it excretes.
Sivakumar, from Gonur Village, the owner of the cow filed a case in the local police station charging the company with committing a public nuisance and for negligent handling of poisonous substances. The Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board has also registered a complaint and taken samples. Results of the samples will be made available in a week’s time, the Board said.