The Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association has appealed to the State government to implement five projects in the State to ensure better water conservation and improve irrigation facility. In a memorandum to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, working president of the association Mahadhanapuram V.Rajaram lamented that water scenario in the State is topsy-turvy with virtual starvation for rains a couple of weeks ago to incessant downpour that has deluged the fields in the past few days. “We are not able to conserve even a week’s rain water.”

“Have we ever thought of a storage system that could pump rain water to a higher plane and distribute it for irrigation?”

He pleaded that the State government should implement on a “war-footing” the following five schemes to ensure better irrigation:

As a first step, Pennayar (Krishnagiri Reservoir Project) should be linked to Palar which could help divert 3.5 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water from the project when it gets huge inflows during floods at Kallar, a tributary of Palar. This would benefit 2,931 acres and the project would cost Rs.253 crore.

Second, the Pennayar (Sathanur reservoir) should be linked to the Palar. This would help divert the surplus of the Sathanur reservoir, about three tmcft, to the Cheyyar. A 38-km long supply channel should be created to take this water to the Nandan canal. This scheme would benefit more than 10,000 acres and would cost Rs.200 crore.

Mr.Rajaram also reminded the government of the scheme that would link the Cauvery (Mettur Dam) with the Sarabanga in Namakkal district. The project, estimated at Rs.1, 134 crore, would benefit 30,400 acres in Salem, Namakkal, Peramablaur, and Tiruchi districts.

Another scheme based on Cauvery would be to link Kattalai barrage with Gundar by laying 258- km-long channel. This would help divert seven tmcft of flood water from Kattalai barrage to Gundar to benefit 32,871 acres. The project would cost Rs.5, 166 crore.

He pointed out that already the government had estimated that Athikadavu-Avinashi scheme would cost Rs.1, 862 crore. Quoting the Chief Minister, he said that all dams across Cauvery in Karnataka had been constructed without the consent of the Central government . Similarly, without waiting for the permission and funding from the Centre , Tamil Nadu should take up these schemes with its own funds to meet the State’s water requirements. Besides, in order to save the delta region from the monsoon fury, he suggested that flood water should be pumped to a higher plane, several kilometres away, to fill up a number of tanks. Once the rains stop, this water could be used either for irrigation or drinking purpose.

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