Saturday, Apr 16, 2005
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NAGAPATTINAM: : Farmers and the people in the Cauvery delta region of Nagapattinam district opposed the New Veeranam Project, at an awareness meeting on the project held at the Collectorate here on Wednesday.
At the meeting, chaired by J. Radhakrishnan, Collector, a team of officials from the Metrowater, Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Public Works Department, and the Agriculture and Revenue Departments explained the technical details of the project. They said
the project would not affect anyone and only a small quantity of water would be taken out from the Coleroon river for drinking water purpose in Chennai and that too, only when there was water scarcity.
The Collector said that the team had come to hear the views of the public on the project and clear their doubts, if any.
Farmers from various parts of the district, mostly from Mayiladuturai, Sirkazhi, Tharangampadi and Kollidam urged the Government to give up the project as it would affect paddy cultivation in about one lakh acres in the southeast region of the district.
The farmers pointed out that the proposed construction of check-dams or shutters at various places across the Coleroon would halt the receipt of water at the Lower Anicut on the Nagapattinam-Cuddalore district border.
A progressive farmer said that the Coleroon was getting only 10 per cent of water released for irrigation in the Cauvery, Vennar and Grand Anicut canal river systems and that the water in the Coleroon was mainly from the meagre outflow from the Grand Anicut from where the water slowly reached the Lower Anicut.
The farmers pointed out that if check-dams or shutters were constructed across the Coleroon, water would not reach the Lower Anicut and hence would affect agricultural operations in about one lakh acres in the district.
They told the team that water in the Lower Anicut was being taken through the Vadavar river to the Veeranam tank and other parts of Cuddalore district for irrigation. Similarly, water from the Lower Anicut was taken through the North and South Rajan channels and Kukukki Manniyar for irrigating about one lakh acres in the southern region of the district.
A number of progressive farmers including Arupathi Kalyanam, general secretary of the Federation of Farmers Associations in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts, participated in the meeting.
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