Announces a series of schemes to improve water sources in Cauvery delta

The strategy adopted by the State government on the Cauvery water issue has paid rich dividends not only in the form of publication of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in the Union government’s gazette but also realisation of over 63 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) from September 10, 2012, to January 10, 2013, Public Works Minister, K. V. Ramalingam, told the Assembly on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu could get 63.042 tmc ft of water (as realised at Billigundulu gauging station) against the flow of 58.326 tmc ft ordered by the Supreme Court, Cauvery River Authority (CRA) and Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC).

The flow was assured only by approaching the apex court, the CRA and CMC, the Minister said.

Announcing a series of schemes to improve water sources in the Cauvery delta, Mr. Ramalingam pointed out that no major improvement work could be undertaken in the region in the last three decades due to the Cauvery water dispute. Following the notification of the final order, the government would now implement a climate adaptation programme at a cost of Rs 1,560 crore with assistance from the Asian Development Bank. Construction of 39 additional regulators and repair and reconstruction of 39 dilapidated regulators would be undertaken.

The main objective of the scheme was to protect the delta coast. The proposed structures would act as flood regulators, facilitating effective use of flood waters, and recharging ground water sources. It would benefit 4.5 lakh acres of land in Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts and help to overcome the problem of water logging in fields due to poor drainage, the Minister said.

A Rs 11,420 crore project to improve and rehabilitate irrigation systems in the Cauvery basin had been sent to the Central Water Commission for in-principle approval. Construction of grade walls would be taken up in Thanjavur district at a cost of Rs 68.55 crore to maintain the bed level of rivers and maintain water supply to channels. The Vadavar extension canal in Mannargudi taluk would be renovated at a cost of Rs 23 crore. Construction of a retaining wall at Tirumangalakudi and a bed dam in Swamimalai across the Cauvery, along with renovation of the head sluice at Nagakudi, would be completed at a cost of Rs 2.65 crore.

A sum of Rs 2.9 crore would be spent on various works in Nagapattinam district. A regulator would be constructed at a cost of Rs three crore in Tiruthuraipoondi taluk to prevent intrusion of sea water.

Detailed project report

The government had sent a detailed project report for linking the Cauvery, the Vaigai and the Gundar for Rs 5, 166 crore to the union government for funding under the Flood Management Programme.

The scheme envisages diversion of seven tmc feet of flood surplus of the Cauvery from Kattalai barrage by a 258-km-long link canal, the Minister said.