‘These will benefit small and marginal farmers’
HOSUR: Farmers here have demanded construction of check dams across Vahini River to store rainwater during monsoon season. The 20-km river is passing through the panchayats of Begepalli, Jhujhuwadi, Nallur, Avalapalli, Kelevarapalli and Muthali.
D. Kothandaraman, taluk president of the Tamilnadu Vivasayigal Sangam, told The Hindu that the river was one of the perennial water sources for this region a decade ago. Due to mushrooming of industries, real estate activities and encroachments, it had shrunken at many places.
The breadth of the river at some places was as much as 300 feet. Now it had shrunken to 50 feet. The main water source for this river was Bidarakuppa lake at Athipalli on the border of Karnataka.
The 5-feet-bund of a check dam constructed 70 years ago between Bagepalli and Bagoor in Begepalli panchayat was dismantled by the authorities. It was replaced with a 30-feet concrete road four months ago making people to wade through hip-deep water in rainy season.
Water from this check dam was used for irrigating 500 acres in this region.
The path of the river was encroached all along its 20 km till it converged with South Pennar River, near the Muneeswarar Temple in Sangameshwara after passing through Bogepalli, Bagoor, Jhujhuwadi, Pedarapalli, Nallur, Agraharam, Govind Agraharam, Petha Elasagiri, Madiwalam, Nallur, Sithanapalli, Basthi, Punuganthotti, Thimmasandiram and Thottagiri villages, Mr. Kothandaraman added.
“The weather in this region is well suited for the cultivation of all kinds of crops such as cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, beans, beetroot, cucumber and fruits such as grapes, flowers such as rose, ‘samanthi’ and also mulberry cultivation. Even small farmers with marginal landholding will benefit if check dams are built across the river. Now we are depending wholly on borewell water,” ” says C. Narayana Reddy, a farmer in the region.
If the authorities removed the encroachments along the river path and constructed five check dams, it would benefit about 2,000 acres throughout the year. It would also help recharge the groundwater table in the surrounding areas, he added.
Construction of new check dams would create self-employment opportunities to educated youth in the region.
In this connection, the Sangam had proposed to submit a petition to Collector V.K. Shanmugam shortly, said Mr. Kothandaraman.