More than 2,000 farmers took out a rally in here on Wednesday and submitted a petition to the district administration urging the government to go ahead with its plan of concrete lining of the Lower Bhavani Project canal. Participants raised slogans on the benefits of lining the canal, which provides water to more than 2.07 lakh hectares in Erode and neighbouring Karur, and Tirupur districts. It runs for about 200km, majority in Erode, and terminates at the border of Karur district.

The legitimate ayacut of the Lower Bhavani project would be able to get adequate supply of water, farmers claimed.

The department came up with the plan as it will arrest seepage and ensure adequate water to the farmers in the tail-end areas of the canal. It has submitted a proposal to the Union Government seeking about Rs. 800 crore financial assistance.

The plan, however, ran into trouble as a section of farmers in the district opposed it stating that it would affect recharging of groundwater and lead to water shortage in several parts of the district.

Farmers claimed that the seepage from the canal helped recharging the wells in the area, enabling them to get adequate water for their crops when water was not released from the Bhavanisagar dam.