The department has sought details of encroachments in water bodies in Tiruvallur

The Water Resources Department has sought details of encroachments in water bodies in Tiruvallur from the district administration as part of its efforts to rejuvenate them.

There are nearly 340 tanks in the Tiruvallur district, several of which have been considerably encroached on.

The department has sought the support of the Tiruvallur collectorate to survey the extent of encroachments in the water bodies and collate data on them.

Sources in the WRD said that this would help the department to prepare an action plan for the restoration of water bodies under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act, 2007.

“We want the district administration to survey the extent of encroached structures so that we can demarcate the boundary of every tank across the district,” said an official.

The water bodies in urban and peri-urban areas are commonly encroached by residential structures as in the case of Vellanur and Thandurai near Pattabiram.

In rural areas, several people encroach on the dry space of the lake area and cultivate crops. For instance, the tank in Senji is heavily encroached. Nearly two-third of the lake area is used to cultivate paddy.

V. Raman, a farmer in Thiruvalangadu, said farmers depended on the water bodies for irrigation. “Several of them have been left neglected. The department concerned must desilt and deepen the water bodies to increase their capacity to hold water,” he said.

Officials of the WRD said that the tanks that contribute to irrigation such as those in Poorivakkam and Athikavanur, in the district would be given priority. Several supply channels and surplus courses also suffer from similar issues.

About 130 tanks are being taken up for restoration under the Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water-Bodies Restoration and Management (IAMWARM) project. However, several of them still are affected by encroachments. Once the data about the encroachments are collated, the process to issue notices and evict them would begin.

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