Work on modernisation of the panchayat tank taken up by the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) at Thalinji village near Iluppur has started paying dividends.

The tank, spread over an area of 22 acres, is 300 metres in length and 25 metres in width.

For want of funds, the village panchayat could not take up any maintenance works for several decades, resulting in poor storage at the tank. But the intervention by MSSRF had gone a long way in enhancing the rate of realisation of rain water in the tank.

About a year ago, MSSRF had not only desilted the tank but also deepened it to a depth of about two feet.

The project was executed at an expenditure of Rs.4.08 lakh contributed by the JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre.

Water User Association

For ensuring proper upkeep and maintenance, the villagers have raised a sum of Rs.61,000 and a Water User Association has also been formed, according to M. Nageswaran, Programme Co-ordinator of MSSRF, Iluppur.

Farmers said modernisation of the tank had gone a long way in ensuring irrigational water supply to 21 acres, belonging to 67 farmers.The storage would stabilise, shortly after the onset of the monsoon, they said.

Saplings on the bund

With a view to checking soil erosion, the MSSRF has also planted saplings of shade-giving trees and fruit-bearing species on the tank bund.

Varieties such as ‘iluppai', ‘amla', ‘pungan' and neem saplings have been planted on the tank bund for checking soil erosion, says Mr. Nageswaran.