With the proposed Thenpennai-Palar river linking project raising hopes of recharging groundwater of Palar basin, the Vellore District Palar River Protection Association has put forward a suggestion to the State government to link Thenpennai (from Krishnagiri dam) to the Palar via Karapallathu Kannaru instead of the proposed Kallaru as it was highly polluted and has turned into a sewage channel.

In reply to the suggestion, which was put forward in a letter to the Chief Minister, the Water Resources Department has said that the suggestion has been accepted and forwarded to the Plan Formulation Division, Vellore, for consideration.

In the letter to the Chief Minister, the association president, Jamuna Thiagarajan, has said the river linking project would help in reviving the dried-up and polluted Palar, which was a lifeline of north Tamil Nadu.

As per the proposal, the Thenpennai river (from Krishnagiri dam) would be linked to the Palar at Vaniyambadi via Kallaru.

However, Ms. Thiagarajan has noted that Kallaru was already polluted due to discharge of sewage from a sugar mill at Kethandapatti and water in the surrounding wells and lakes had turned unfit for drinking owing to salt content.

As a result, the to-be-linked Thenpennai would turn polluted and join the Chinnaru, one of the tributaries of the Palar in Vaniyambadi, which has already turned into a sewer. The Chinnaru has been polluted by Vaniyambadi municipality’s garbage and sewage and discharge of effluents by leather factories, she said.

The Chinnaru was highly polluted and linking the Thenpennai would turn the water unfit for drinking and irrigation purposes. She said that linking the Thenpennai river to Kallaru could be avoided and instead, it could be linked to Karapallathu Kannaru, thereby linking it to the Palar at Avarangkuppam.

Explaining the reason behind this suggestion, Ms. Thiagarajan said the Palar flowing in the west of Vaniyambadi was unpolluted. Hundreds of borewells had been dug up in the riverbed along the Upper Palar, which flows from Avarangkuppam to Kodaiyanchi , for more than 25 municipalities, town panchayats and village panchayats.

Wells have been established for the railways and cooperative sugar mill. More than a crore litres of groundwater was being extracted every day, mainly for supplying drinking water.

If the Thenpennai is linked to the Palar at Avarangkuppam, areas including Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Tirupattur and surrounding town panchayats and village panchayats would benefit.

It would prevent groundwater from drying up, she said.

Lands located along the Palar riverbed in areas including Avarangkuppam, Thimmampet, Ramanaickenpettai, Ambalur, Vadakupattu, Eklaspuram, Kodaiyanchi, Thekkupet, Sankarapuram, Nagaleri, Pallipattu, Mallangkuppam and Udayendram would once again get water and lakes would get filled up, she noted.