It was desilted some 10 years ago

One of the very few positive sides of the poor show by the South West Monsoon, it appears, is the opportunity to clean the Big Tank.

The near nil inflow into the 343-acre Tank has reduced water level, thereby exposing silt and waste.

The Coimbatore Corporation, which is in-charge of the tank, should seized the opportunity to clean the tank, says Vanitha Mohan, Managing Trustee, Siruthuli, a non-government organisation.

It spearheads a movement to clean and protect the district’s water bodies.

She says that Big Tank was last desilted around 10 years ago and it was time the Corporation took it up again.

The northern, western and southern parts of the tank are full of silt and waste, which are visible because of the receding water.

The Corporation could desilt more than 100 acres, or one-third of the tank, says K. Mylswami, Project Coordinator, Siruthuli.

If the Corporation were to remove 1.5 to 2 m earth on the 125 acres, a rough calculation, suggests that the Tank’s holding capacity could easily go up by 100 million litres.

He also says that the Public Works Department has recently cleaned the inlet, the three-km-long Coimbatore Canal, which branches of the River Noyyal at Coimbatore Anaicut at Perur.

This will bring increased inflow into the Tank, which, if cleaned, will be able to hold more water.

The Tank receives water also from the surplus weir from the Selvachinthamani Tank.

And it drains its surplus into River Noyyal and also Valangulam, a tank east of it. The Big Tank’s storage capacity is 97 million cubic feet.

Ms. Mohan says that the Corporation should not wait for JNNURM scheme or other Government schemes for funds because there is every possibility that it could a little time and precious time available before the onset of North East Monsoon will be lost.

The Corporation should also use the opportunity to remove encroachments.

If it does so, it will only be in keeping with the Chief Minister’s announcement on cleaning water bodies, she adds.

Coimbatore Corporation officials were unavailable for comment.

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