District administration ready to accord permission
Close on the heels of public participation proving to be a success in cleaning Ukkadam big tank, the administration has asked non-governmental organisations and private organisations to come forward to desilt and give a face lift to the two other major tanks: Valankulam and Singanallur tank.
Recently, based on permission from the authorities, Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC) and Siruthuli, with the help of Vijayalakshmi Charitable Trust, de-silted the sprawling big tank at Ukkadam.
In accordance with the conditions on which permission was granted, all the removed silt was used for heightening and strengthening the bunds besides creating three islands for planting saplings to provide roosting and resting sites for birds.
On the other hand, the permission for de-silting and beautifying Kurichi tank was given to a private entrepreneur who was allowed to take the de-silted material on payment of a ‘fee per load’ to the Government. Both the tanks are all set to sport a new look.
With regard to creation of walking tracks and parks to beautify the Ukkadam big tank, Collector M. Karunagaran said that if sponsors came forward to carry out these activities, the district administration will provide 50 per cent of the cost from the self-sufficiency fund.
The recently completed de-silting process at Ukkadam big tank and the ongoing process at Kurichi tank will beautify the water bodies, increase their water-holding capacity and help in recharging the groundwater table (aquifer in the nearby areas) to a considerable extent. This will help in tiding over the summer season with ease, he added.
Mr. Karunagaran said that already, similar permission had been given for Kodavadi tank near Kinathukkadavu and another one in Annur.
“Rather than expecting the Government to carry out everything — which involves huge monetary considerations — such public participation would certainly help in achieving self-sufficiency,” he said.
The district administration was ready to accord permission subject to conditions for de-silting and beautifying the other two tanks: Valankulam and Singanallur tank.
Such an initiative will help in overcoming the problem of water hyacinth, debris and other waste along these two water bodies.
According to sources here, Valankulam had encroachments in the form of 14 acres allotted by the Government to Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) for its depot, 2.384 acres to the erstwhile Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (now Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation), and 0.08 acres to a private individual. Another 6.28 acre is proposed for allotment to Southern Railway.
The link road from Tiruchi Road to Valankulam Railway Bridge — that cuts across the water body — and other encroachments, occupy another 15 acres.
Despite all the encroachments with Government sanction, there is substantial water spread area.
Beautifying the tank and laying down a walking track will help in protecting the remaining area.
For Singanallur tank, the much-publicised boating facility has not been functional for the last four to five years, because of the growth of water hyacinth and the entry of sewage from Sanganur canal posing a major challenge in keeping the tank clean.
There are no major encroachments in Singanallur tank.