When will the second phase of rehabilitation of Grand Anicut canal be taken up? This is a question in the minds of farmers of Thanjavur district.

A proposal for taking up second phase of rehabilitation of Grand Anicut canal in Thanjavur district for Rs. 272.12 crore, to be funded by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was sent to the government in March 2011 by the public works department. It has been pending since then. The NABARD is yet to receive the proposal.

Enquiries with the department reveal that after answering the various questions raised by the plan formulation department of public works department in Chennai, the project proposal had been forwarded to the finance department for inclusion in the priority list of projects to be funded under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of the NABARD.

17 works

The proposal envisages 17 works under second phase of rehabilitation of the GA canal. They include rehabilitation of the Vadakadu branch canal (Rs. 49.55 crore), Olavayal channel (Rs. 28 crore), Vattachery channel (Rs. 21.40 crore), Pudupattinam canal and Sethubavachathiram no five canal (Rs. 12.50 crore), Ananthavallipuram channel (Rs. 9.30 crore), Kulamangalam channel (Rs 26.50 crore), Thirumangalakottai channel (Rs. 14.25 crore), Melavannipattu channel (Rs. 14 crore), Paruthikottai channel (Rs. seven crores), Grand Anaicut canal branch no four and five (Rs. 2.10 crore), Ettipulikadu channel (Rs. 9.62 crore), Kalyana Odai branch channel and Regular Main canal (Rs. 26.20 crore), Kalanivasal channel (Rs. 9 crore), Pinnavasal Thenpathy channel (Rs. 9.70 crore), Ammachathiram channel (Rs. 12.80 crore), Mahaganapathipuram channel (Rs. 9.70 crore) and Ottankadu and Pudupattinam no two channel (Rs. 10.50 crore).

First phase of rehabilitation of certain canals and channels of GA canal was completed between 2004 and 2008 at a cost of Rs. 173.62 crore.

Under the benefit of the first phase rehabilitation was increased water use efficiency and flow enhancement. If the second phase was completed, assured water supply would be available for entire ayacut of 2.27 lakh acres of land.

Grand Anicut canal system was one of the most successful canal system in Tamil Nadu and was formed as part of Cauvery Mettur Project during the project period of 1925-1934.

It takes off from right flank of Grand Anicut (Kallanai) and traverse about 102 km in Thanjavur district and 46 km in Pudukottai district and finally falls into a tank called Mumbalai tank located near the South Vellar river in Pudukottai district. There are 327 numbers of branch channels to a total length of 1,232 km. The canal is feeding 694 system tanks in Thanjavur (526) and Pudukottai (168) districts.

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