A nearly seven-year campaign for a proper link to enable free flow of surplus water from the Big Tank at Ukkdam in the city to the Valankulam in the same area has yielded the desired result. A Rs.17-lakh project to build a culvert is being implemented to create the link.
The project has been taken up under the Namakku Naame Thittam. Under this, Siruthuli, a public movement to conserve water resources, has contributed 33 per cent of the project cost. The rest has been provided by the district administration from the funds of the District Rural Development Agency. The works are being carried out by the National Highways.
While de-silting tanks in the city, Siruthuli also took up the campaign for re-establishing the link between the two tanks at Ukkadam. The organisation found garbage, debris had choked a worn out pipeline and a channel that were supposed to bring the surplus from the Big Tank to Valankulam. The blocks had led to the surplus in the Big Tank flowing back into River Noyyal. The Big Tank and Valankulam are among the eight tanks in the city that come under the Noyyal system.
The Big Tank is spread over 320 acres and has a capacity of 70 million cubic feet (mcft). The system has been designed in such a way that surplus water from this water body has to flow to the 160-acre Valankulam, the capacity of which is 27.88 mcft.
But, a study done a year ago for rejuvenation of tanks under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission found that constructions on the Valankulam had reduced its water spread area to 96 acres and capacity to 16.7 mcft.
The effort now is to fill up the tank at least to its existing capacity. There is a culvert on the eastern side of Palakkad Road (near the Ukkadam Police Station). But, up to this point, water has to flow only through a nearly 30 ft long pipe. As this pipe is clogged and worn out, it is being replaced with a culvert that has a vent of 8 ft height and more than 16 ft breadth.
A gradient is being provided to enable smooth flow of the surplus water from the Big Tank, according to official sources. The works would be over by the end of this month or in the first week of August. Another 20 days were needed for curing. Till then, traffic would not be allowed on this stretch.
What threatens to slow down the pace of the work is a large dump of garbage and debris in the channel. It is not clear who will remove it – the Coimbatore Corporation or the National Highways.