Special Correspondent

Groundwater level going down: Palar Protection Movements’ joint front

A dam with a capacity of 100 tmcft can be built west of Hogenakkal to store floodwater from Cauvery, which is usually let into the sea

VELLORE:The Joint Front of the Palar Protection Movements, which met here under the presidentship of N. Natarajan, engineer, Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam, on Saturday urged the State government to take steps to expand the scope of the Hogenakkal Integrated Drinking Water Supply Scheme for Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts, to be implemented shortly with Rs.1,000-crore Japanese aid.

A resolution adopted at the meeting said that flood waters from the Cauvery, which was in spate once in two to three years, was being let into the sea.

Therefore, a dam with capacity of 100 tmcft could be built west of Hogenakkal to store floodwater. Excess water could be pumped to a height of 800 feet to reach Pennagaram and from there conveyed to the Palar at Avaranguppam in Vellore district via Krishnagiri and Natrampalli.

No steps taken

The front regretted that no steps had been taken on the advice of the Supreme Court (on the petition filed by Tamil Nadu pleading for a stay on the move of Andhra Pradesh to construct a reservoir across the Palar) to the Ministry of Water Resources to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers of the two States to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

Groundwater level was gradually going down in Vellore district, rendering agriculture impossible in high areas, and resulting in the drop in the production of paddy, sugarcane and banana.

Severe food shortage

The district was in danger of facing a severe food shortage.

The joint front also requested the State government to extend the river link project (under which canals had been dug up to Bargur in Krishnagiri district) to Kottar and Kallar near Natrampalli so that excess water during floods would fill wayside irrigation tanks and join the Palar.

Allotment of sugarcane area

The front requested the government to give up the practice of allotting sugarcane area, currently registered with the cooperative sugar mills, to newly-started private sugar mills.

This, it pointed out, would not only affect interests of the sugarcane farmers, but also weaken the cooperative sugar mills.