Farmers happy, but surplus water floods encroachments nearby
COIMBATORE: The 99-acre Vellalore Tank, south of the city, is full after 28 years. From an almost dry tank, the situation has swung to another extreme of water overflowing into low-lying residential areas.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has raised the level of the anaicut on River Noyyal at Vellalore by two feet above the Vellalore Canal and this is said to have led to the inflow that filled up the water body.
The department and Siruthuli, a public initiative to revive and conserve water resources, removed a large quantity of silt from the Vellalore Canal to facilitate good flow of water into the tank.
The removal of encroachments on the canal and also the silt has resulted in the surplus water in the tank.
Last year, the Vellalore Tank benefited from the 600 ft canal Siruthuli dug last year to link the Kurichi Tank with the Vellalore Canal.
The objective was to divert excess water from Kurichi Tank to Vellalore Tank.
Otherwise, the surplus water in the tank only flowed back into the Noyyal. This helped fill half of Vellalore Tank in December.
Siruthuli said at that time itself that the surplus water flow from the Kurichi Tank and the removal of encroachments in the canal had helped in filling up 50 per cent of the Vellalore Tank.
An official in the PWD said that the tank would fill up during monsoon every year.
This was because the encroachments that had been blocking water flow had been removed from the Vellalore Canal and the anaicut itself had been raised.
The department would close the sluices in the anaicut to stop the surplus in the tank.
The official said that the flooded residential colonies were encroachments. These people had settled here because there had been no threat of flooding for the last 28 years because of the circumstances that had been prevailing.
The official further said that the department had been warning the residents of inundation for some time now because of the indications of a surplus.
Only encroachers complained of both residential colonies and farms getting inundated, he said.
President of the Vellalore Vivasayigal Sangham R.A. Gopalakrishnan said a tank full of water was good news for farmers and farm workers.
This was because enough water would help sustain farming activity and income for them. “Water in the tank will help irrigate 1400 acres,” he said.