Village tank renovated at a cost of Rs. 3.45 lakh 3 years ago

Villagers of Poongudi in Manikandam block have set an example for water conservation and making the most out of it for irrigation and drinking purposes.

While the water table in adjoining villages has been depleting, villagers of Poongudi take pride by not just preserving the water tank. “We keep the tank clean and free from pollution. It is used only for irrigation and drinking water purpose,” says P. Veeramuthu, a resident.

A few maintenance works was taken up at the tank three years ago under the Namakku Namae scheme at an expenditure of Rs. 3.45 lakh. “We contributed Rs.1.15 lakh while the rest was borne by the District Rural Development Agency,” he said.

Realising water from the Kattalai Canal, the tank caters for a single crop of paddy on about 100 acres. But there is a possibility to go for a second crop cycle. The village accounts for sodic soil which hampers diversification in cultivation practices, said Mr. Veeramuthu

More storage possible

N. Vetrichelvan, a progressive farmer, said that although the water spread area of the tank is 134 acres, only 50 acres is being utilised now for water storage. The remaining 84 acres should be dredged, so that the villagers could go for a second crop every year. The villagers presently rely on “TRY- R – (3)” paddy variety introduced by the Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute (ADACRI) of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Mr. Veeramuthu pointed out that the dredging of the tank would not only help raise the second crop but also cater to the drinking water needs of ADACRI and its hostels. Though “TRY – R – (3)” is a ‘samba variety, it could also be raised as kharif crop, said D. Pandiyarajan, Dean of the Institute, explaining the suitability of the variety as a second crop.

Encouraged by the farmers’ enthusiasm in raising ‘samba’ despite various odds, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Society (IFFCO) had adopted the village three years ago and supplied gypsum free of cost. D.Subramanian, Chief Area Manager, IFFCO, Tiruchi Region, says that apart from utilising the tank for irrigation, the Tourism Department could also explore the possibility of developing the village as a tourism centre by setting up boat rides. “The serene and tranquil environment is ideally suited for the tourism development project,” he said.