Water lifted from Pudhu Vaikkal is carried through pipes to farm wells for storage and irrigation

At Tiruvarangapatti village near Manachanallur in Tiruchi district, dry farm wells have been turned into storage tanks to collect water for irrigation.

A group of farmers of the village has set up a cluster of diesel-operated engines to lift water from Pudhu Vaikkal on the Pullampadi channel. “We have buried pipelines to a length of about one km from the channel to carry water to our wells,” farmers said. Since the channel doesn’t carry water throughout the year, the farmers collect water from the channel whenever possible and store it in their dry wells. From the wells, the water is pumped out for irrigating the fields with the help of pumpsets as per the irrigational requirements.

“Though the effort meant huge investment of money, we don’t have any other option to irrigate our fields,” said Kaththan, a farmer of Tiruvarangapatti.

Most farmers have raised horticultural crops, while a few have been cultivating tapioca. The farmers have set up the facility to stave off water crisis and ensure at least minimal irrigational support for their crops. However, now, with the discharge through the Pullampadi Vaikkal being nil, the Pudhu Vaikkal too has turned bone dry.

P.C.Subbiah Pillai, a progressive agriculturist, points out that small and medium farmers benefit by lifting water from the Pudhu Vaikkal. About 20 acres of tapioca has been brought under cultivation in the area. A few farmers have also raised jasmine and pitchipoo, he said.