"The Palar Board should be created in order to ensure that the link to Palar was included in the scheme of diverting the west-flowing waters from Nethravathi."

A meeting of stakeholders convened by M. Abdul Rahman, Vellore MP, to discuss measures to revive water flow in the Palar and prevent pollution of the river held at the Collectorate here has urged the MP to take expeditious steps for the formation of Palar River Board on the lines of the Tungabhadra Board to implement schemes for linking of other rivers with the Palar and ensuring perennial water flow in the river.

A.C. Venkatesan, president of Tamil Nadu Pasumai Padhukappu Makkal Iyakkam, said that Karnataka has submitted to the Centre a proposal to divert the water from Nethravathi River which is flowing into the Arabian Sea to irrigate the parched areas in Kolar district. Utilising this proposal, Tamil Nadu should press for the extension of the scheme up to Palar since the distance between Kolar and Palar is very short.

The Palar Board should be created in order to ensure that the link to Palar was included in the scheme of diverting the west-flowing waters from Nethravathi. He wanted the Palar to be surveyed and stones erected to prevent indiscriminate quarrying of sand.

Mr. Abdul Rahman said that the Speaker of Lok Sabha has allotted time for him to speak in Parliament on Thursday. At that time, he would press for the formation of the Palar Board and for the linking of Nethravathi with Palar. Agreeing with the need to stabilise the ecological survival mechanism of the Palar, especially its sand wealth, he said that an inspection committee constituted by the Union government was currently on the job of inspecting the damage caused to the ecology in Palar.

P. Mullai, Executive Committee Member of the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said that what was needed was a fully empowered Palar Board. A proposal to bring water from Kelavarapalli dam west of Palar could be considered to feed the 26 irrigation tanks in Tirupattur taluk which have been deprived of water because of the construction of the Andiappanur reservoir.

Karuvelam trees on the banks of Palar and other waterbodies should be removed since they absorb a lot of water and deplete the groundwater. The MP said that steps were being taken to remove the trees.

Bhaskaran, City Engineer, Vellore Corporation, said that the Corporation has sent a proposal to the government for removal of encroachments along the Palar bunds, stabilisation of the bunds and laying roads along both the bunds of the Palar River from Shenbakkam to Perumugai to decongest the city traffic. R. Nanthagopal, Vellore Collector, said that such a proposal could be implemented jointly by the Vellore Corporation and the Water Resources Organisation (WRO) of the PWD.

Thangamani, Superintending Engineer, Central Water Commission, promised total cooperation of the CWC for the river conservation and river link projects of Tamil Nadu. The CWC has proposed to implement an upgrading scheme for 49 irrigation tanks in the State, under the Renovation, Restoration and Reconstruction component of the Water Resources Management Programme. Twenty-nine of the 49 tanks identified are in Vellore district, he said.