Areas under Thadapalli, Arakankooai canals to be irrigated

Water for irrigating areas under cultivation in Thadapalli and Arakankooai canals was released from Kodiveri Check Dam by Revenue Minister Thoppu N.D. Venkatachalam here on Friday. Located 35 km downstream of Bhavani Sagar Dam, the check dam will divert excess water from the River Cauvery to irrigate 24,504 acres that are under cultivation in Gobichettipalayam and Anthiyur.

Water from Kodiveri that was constructed in the 17 century in Gobichettipalayam is the main source of irrigation for the region and will remain open for 135 days from June 28. It will benefit 6,850 acres of cultivation under Arakankooai Canal and 17,654 acres that are cultivated with water from Thadapalli Canal. Paddy is the main food crop cultivated in the area while cash crops such as sugarcane and banana are also cultivated in a vast area.

Gobichettipalayam MLA K.A. Sengottaiyan, Collector V.K. Shanmugam and others were also present when water was released. It is learnt that every year, water was released from the 151 metre-long check dam from April 15 to February 15. This year, the delay was due to delayed showers. Officials said that water was released after the catchments received good showers over last few days.

While water released from Kodiveri brought cheers for thousands of farmers who would be benefited in areas under cultivation alongside Thadapalli and Arakankooai Canals, farmers in the Lower Bhavani region were disappointed as they called the water release a biased act.

President of the Lower Bhavani Farmers Welfare Association S. Nallusamy called it an act against the final verdict of the Supreme Court’s, published in the Government’s Gazette on February 19, 2013. He called the release of water into the two canals on Friday as a result of the mismanagement of the Public Works Department.

He told The Hindu that farmers in all the four constituencies that depend on Lower Bhavani for irrigation will be hoisting black flags in agricultural lands alongside the canal on July 3 seeking water promised for them in the gazette. The issue was reflected in the grievances meeting for farmers as the meeting came to an end in 10 minutes when Collector V.K. Shanmugam cancelled it as the situation could not be brought under control.

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