Ganganarayana Samudram, Sottaiyandi Kuttai, Narasipuram, Mukkulam and a few other tanks overflowing

Joy flows into the heart as Noyyal water flows into the Ukkadam Big Tank, the eastern part of which is covered with sheet of water.

The water enters the 320-acre Tank through the Coimbatore Channel from the north-western end as if a child would rush on seeing its mother.

The inflow has been good for the past three or four days, says K. Mylswami of Siruthuli, a non-government organisation. The NGO along with Vijayalakshmi Trust, Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore and a few others removed silt and earth measuring 3.50 lakh cubic metre from the Tank from April end to mid July.

His estimate is that at present the Tank should have around 45 mcft (million cubic feet) water as against its full capacity of 70 mcft.

If the inflow continues at the current pace, the Tank will be full to the brim in a week.

The Tank gets its water from the Coimbatore Anaicut, where River Noyyal is partly diverted to flow through the three-km Coimbatore Channel.

The aforementioned organisations cleaned not only the Tank but also the Channel.

But then, the organisations are having a tough time as people with vested interest damage the Channel’s embankment to divert the flow of water.

The latest damage has taken place at LIC Colony, Selvapuram.

Mr. Mylswami says that along with fishermen, who have rights to fish in the Tank, the organisations maintain a vigil.

A group of fishermen working at the spot say that they have begun going on night rounds to prevent such activity.

They are doing so because the water inflow into the Tank ensures their livelihood. Every drop of water counts, as more water means better opportunities to rear fish and earn higher profits, the fishermen say.

It is not just the Big Tank that is getting copious inflow, there are a few other tanks as well and they too come under the Noyyal Sub Basin. Sources in the Public Works Department say that Ganganarayana Samudram, Sottaiyandi Kuttai, Narasipuram, Mukkulam and a few other tanks are overflowing.

This year, if the flow in River Noyyal continues at the very pace, all the 18 tanks in the Sub Basin will be full to the brim, they say.

Amaravathi Dam

The Public Works Department (Water Resources Organisation) on Friday evening cautioned the people in the command areas of Amaravathi Dam asking them to be alert as the dam’s entire shutters could be opened anytime because of the heavy inflow of water.

A senior PWD (WRO) official told The Hindu that the water inflow into the reservoir area of the Amaravathi Dam touched 5,400 cusecs around 3 p.m. prompting the issuance of the alert.

At 3 p.m., the water level touched 82 ft against the total height of 90 ft in the dam.

“At the moment, water is being released from the dam only for power generation and that too only through two of the nine shutters of the dam,” the PWD (WRO) officials said.

The officials added that with the inflow continued to be abundant into the dam site, mainly because of the heavy rain in the catchment areas in Kerala, more shutters could be opened anytime releasing water along Amaravathi River stretch in the downstream. For the agrarian population in the command areas of the dam, the release of more water would be useful as they had been looking for bumper harvest from crops like paddy and sugarcane to offset the losses suffered due to the drought last fiscal.

(Inputs from R. Vimal Kumar in Tirupur)

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