Farmers having cultivable lands irrigated by Pallamadaikulam and Maanur Big Tank have threatened to settle down in these water bodies as no step has been taken so far to bring water to these tanks by reviving the almost vanished channels.
As the district has failed to receive good rainfall during the northeast monsoon, most of the rain-fed tanks still remain dry or have water sufficient only for just 20 to 30 days of irrigation. The Maanur Big Tank and the Pallamadai Tank, which can collectively provide succour to paddy planted on over 1,200 acres, now have only a little water, leaving the farmers in the lurch.
The prime reason for this problem is the non-systemised channels that bring water to these irrigation tanks have been either completely filled-up by sand or had been encroached upon. With the flow of water completely being disrupted, the smaller irrigation tanks below these two sprawling water bodies at Pallikottai, Tirunelveli Thiruththu, Thenkalamputhur, Thenkalam, Naanjaankulam, Alavanthaankulam, Nallammalpuram, South Chezhiyanallur, Karisalkulam and Gangaikondan, which will receive water whenever the bigger water bodies start overflowing, also are left with small quantity of water.
“As long as these two tanks received water through the channels, ‘kar' and ‘pisanam' paddy seasons yielded good harvest for us. Now the situation is totally different with the tanks remaining dry. If the official machinery continues to ignore our demand for desilting the channels and also digging a new canal from Tamirabharani, most of the villages in this region will vanish from the map,” said K. Murugan, a farmer.
The villagers have also planned to settle down in the near-dry water bodies if no effort is taken to bring water to the tanks at least during the next southwest monsoon.