Amidst opposition from villagers, the Water Resources Department (WRD) is looking to expedite the creation of a reservoir in Thervoy Kandigai and Kannankottai villages in Tiruvallur district to store and supply water to Chennai. A major chunk of the necessary land has been acquired.

With nearly 750 acres of patta lands handed over for the project, the WRD plans to start the major work of linking the two water bodies in Thervoy Kandigai and Kannankottai to form a reservoir. This would hold 1,000 million cubic feet of water when filled twice.

The WRD and Tiruvallur district administration have been facing protests from the villagers, particularly in Kannankottai. Of the 800 acres of patta lands needed for the Rs. 330 crore project, nearly 600 acres fall in Kannankottai village. Last week, the department started the process of providing interim compensation to land owners in these villages, officials said.

Residents said that many acres of lands have been already acquired for a reserve forest and the more acquisition would further affect their livelihood. K. Rangan, a resident of Kannankottai, said several farmers have cultivated paddy and are hesitant to surrender land.

Residents, who staged a road roko a few days ago, were promised compensation by the district administration. “We are yet to decide on further action,” he said. Small and marginal farmers want alternative agricultural land in their village.

Officials of the WRD said 571 land owners have been identified for providing compensation. Of this, about 130 land owners have approached the department for compensation in the last three days.

Once the rules are framed by the State government, the land owners would be given more compensation based on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Re-Settlement Act 2013.

Officials said work was under way in a three-km stretch to create a 7-km-long canal to bring Krishna water from the Kandaleru Poondi canal to the reservoir. “We are also in the process of creating bund for a distance of 7.5 km,” said an official.