Vaigai waters, the lifeline of people of some parts of Ramanathapuram district, have finally reached the Big Tank on Saturday, creating cheer among farmers.
According to Water Resources Organisation division of the Public Works Department (PWD), around 800 cusecs was realised at the southern regulator near Karukudi and it is being maintained at the same level. The sources indicate that the water flow will be maintained for a few more days, raising chances of filling the tank to its maximum capacity.
The Big Tank, the second largest in the district— next only to R.S. Mangalam Big Tank — has a total capacity of 618 mcft. Though water can be stored up to 7.6 feet, it is generally being maintained below seven feet, considering the grey areas along the tank bund. The tank has a total ayacut of 3,962 acres. Though farmers of Big Tank ayacuts are yet to start farming operations, the arrival of water from Vaigai river is likely to enthuse them to start them immediately.
P.L. Valliappan, Executive Engineer, PWD, told The Hindu that the total realisation of water at the Parthibanur regulator was being discharged into the Vaigai river. If the current inflow continued, the Big Tank could be filled within five to six days. The ongoing rehabilitation and renovation works would not affect the water storage. All precautions had been taken to ensure proper storage of water.
Mr. Valliappan said the water would be released in the Right Main Canal and the Left Main Canal once the tank reached its full level. A proposal had been sent to the State government to open the Vaigai dam.
If it was opened, it would facilitate the system tanks to get water in the days to come. Since the Vaigai was fully wet, the entire water flow could be carried to the tanks in the district, he said.