For the first time in the State, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), work is on to interlink 49 lakes in the district to reduce persistent water shortage and remove the imbalance in water availability.
Traditional water bodies in 16 village panchayats in the district have different sources of water including from hills, rivers and streams that are spread across a wide area and cater only to requirements of a particular area. Hence, the district administration decided to divert water from surplus areas to water scarce zones through interlink water channels.
Currently, interlinking of five lakes in Konganapuram areas is under way as work is expected to commence in other places shortly.
The Project’s co-ordinators said that ponds and rivers were desilted and deepened to increase their water-holding capacity and channels were constructed to interlink them. This improved the ground water level in the entire area and would cover additional areas for irrigation, remove of imbalance in availability of water and make way for effective utilisation of natural resources.
Interlinking and renovation of traditional water bodies have been carried out at a cost of Rs. 9.58 crore in the district, apart from water conservation and harvesting, micro irrigation works, drought proofing, flood control and protection and rural connectivity works.
The district has also shown 56 per cent increase in the number of workers under MNREGS - from 79,902 to 1, 24,470 - after the daily wage was increased by the State Government from Rs. 119 to Rs. 132.