Farmers depending on Pazayar for irrigation purposes, in and around Nagercoil, have urged the government to take immediate steps to restore the damaged check-dams.
These check dams were built by the Chera, Chozha and Pandiya Kings to maximise the utility of the Pazhayar which has been the life line of the southern taluks. There are 11 check-dams namely Veerapuli dam built by the Venad King Buthala Veera Marthanda Varma (1517-1537), Kutty dam by the Pandya king (Jain Foundation) Pallikondan dam by the Venad King Bala Marthanda Varma (1729-1758), Chettithoppu dam, Veeranarayana Mangalam dam, Sabari dam and Kumari Dam by Pandya Kings, Cholanthittai dam by Chola Kings, Pillai Pethadam by Venad King and the Mission dam by LMS Missionaries in 1835 during the rule of Venad Kings.
Yet, a recent visit to these dams, that are more than 150 years old, present a pitiable picture, said chairman of Kodayar Irrigation Project (Water Resource Organization), A.Vins Anto. According to him due to the callous approach of the Government, the Veerapuli dam, Kutti dam, Pallikondan dam, Chattupudur dam, Chettithopu dam and the Pellaipethan dams have been completely damaged and silted. Though, the irrigation canals have been completely silted, no Minister or officials have visited these sites to study them.
At a time when the Chief Minister has allotted Rs.100 crore for the construction of check dams and water canals to strengthen the water resources in the State, funds can be allotted to strengthen check-dams.