Thanks to the efforts of PWD officials and farmers
RAMANATHAPURAM: After a few decades of struggle, the R.S. Mangalam Big Tank, the second largest tank in the State, has got its rightful share of water from the Vaigai, this year, thanks to the concerted efforts of officials and farmers of the tank ayacutars.
The tank, which is 45 km from here, can store 1205 mcft (1.2 tmc) of water. The circumference of the tank is 19.8 km. Its capacity is nearly one-fourth of the Vaigai dam.
The Sarugani, Kottakaraiyaru and the Vaigai are the main sources of the tank. Though the tank used to get some share from the Sarugani and Kottakaraiyaru, it could not get its share from the Vaigai due to obstruction and diversion of water by the upper reach farmers.
Though many PWD (WRO) officials and politicians tried their best to get the Vaigai water to the tank, it did yield the expected results. They faced many difficulties in bringing the water, as it had to travel 42 km from Parthibanur regulator through the Left Main Canal.
But, now the farmers and officials have made it happen due to the determined efforts and had brought 226 mcft of water to the tank. When water was released for the Ramanathapuram district from the Vaigai recently, nearly 500 farmers of the R.S. Mangalam, who acted in accordance with the PWD officials, worked day and night for three days to divert the water from the Vaigai through lower Nattarkal by placing thousands of sand bags across the Vaigai.
"We took it as a challenge and finally succeeded. V.S. Vijakumar, Chief Engineer, PWD, also played a key role," said T. Kumanan, Executive Engineer, PWD.
"We diverted the Vaigai water at the fag end of the water release process. The shortest route of 19 km from lower Nattarkal made this job little easy. Thirteen tanks en route to the Big Tank were also fed," said K.S. Abdul Rashid, Assistant Executive Engineer.
Muthamil Selvi, AEE, Ramnad said, before releasing water to R.S. Mangalam, enough quantity of water was let into the Ramanathapuram and Sakkarakottai tanks.
Jamaludeen, Agricultural Officer, said standing crops raised on more than 10,000 acres, including 5,000 acres of directly fed paddy, could be saved now.
S.K. Selladurai, president, water irrigation association, R.S. Mangalam said that farmers were ecstatic to get the share from the Vaigai after a gap of nearly 33 years.