Rs. 104-crore proposal sent to government for improving water sources

At least 71 villages in the tail-end of the delta region spreading across Kattumannarkoil and Chidambaram blocks in Cuddalore district are facing acute drought.

The situation has caused a vast disparity in terms of irrigation prospects among the farmers of the district. While a section of the farmers are tapping the abundant water sources in certain pockets their counterparts elsewhere are facing bleak crop prospects, said P. Ravindhiran, president of the Federation of the Cuddalore District Uzhavar Manrams.

Making a forceful plea to District Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar in the Farmers’ Grievance Day session held here on Friday, he asked the Collector to evolve an action plan to artificially recharge groundwater in places that otherwise have rich crop potential.

Mr. Ravindhiran pointed out that Cuddalore is blessed with five major rivers. The annual run off in these rivers is estimated to be in the region of 50 thousand million cubic feet. By damming the flash floods through construction of barrages the subsurface water level could be augmented to a large extent.

However, Mr. Ravindhiran dismissed the proposal to construct one such barrage across the Vellar at Adhanur near Bhuvanigiri as unviable as it would face the threat of seawater incursion.

He also stated that while the farm lands located alongside the Paravanar (that gets water pumped out of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation mines throughout the year) are reaping rich harvest while their counterparts in other water starved areas has to forego the regular crops.

Therefore, the authorities should also chart out a plan to end such disparity, Mr. Ravindhiran said.

The Collector noted that Rs. 104.60-crore proposal has been sent to the government for improving the water sources in the district. He further said that when the Plan Formation Team visits Cuddalore he would make arrangement for farmers to interact with the team members.

The sugarcane farmers urged the Collector to prevail upon a private sugarmill to clear the arrears of Rs. 60 crore. The mill representative assured to make the settlement before June 10.

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