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Rs.40-crore contingency plan to fight water scarcity

Special Correspondent
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Rainwater harvesting, installing pumpsets, generators and RO systems, part of the plan

clear waters:T.Rajathi, chairperson, district panchayat, speaking at the district planning committee meet in the city on Thursday. Photo:M.Moorthy.
clear waters:T.Rajathi, chairperson, district panchayat, speaking at the district planning committee meet in the city on Thursday. Photo:M.Moorthy.

A Rs.40-crore contingency plan has been worked out to face the impending water scarcity during summer, the District planning Committee was informed on Thursday.

Rajendra Prasad, Assistant Director, Panchayats, said that apprehending serious drinking water shortage during March-April, District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan had utilised various funds solely for tackling the issue. As much as Rs.37 crore had already been spent for drinking water facilities alone.

“Thus we can safely say that we have almost solved the drinking water problem,” he added.

However, as a matter of caution, a contingency plan had also been worked out. Apart from installing pumpsets, generators, and reverse osmosis systems, clearing silt from waterways, flushing and rainwater harvesting are the other major works to be taken up under the plan.

He also appealed to all the local bodies to cooperate with the district administration in the endeavour.

T.Rajathi, chairperson, district panchayat, who was in the chair, promised all help from the local bodies in tackling the drinking water issue.

When she submitted that there is an allegation that the Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board (TWAD) does not attend to pipeline repairs properly, TWAD official responded that anything brought to the notice would be attended to immediately.

Rajmohan, a member of the District Planning Committee, alleged that areas such as Marungapuri, Maniakurichi, and Maadukarai have not been getting water supply for the past two months because of pipeline works between Tiruchi and Melur

Another member said that of the three water supply schemes benefiting Thottiyam panchayat union – Kolakudi, Elurpatti, and Sriramasamudram Combined Water Supply Scheme – the last one alone does not have 24-hour power supply. He also pleaded for installation of at least 15 tanks in each village to meet the water scarcity.

G.Radha, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, said Tiruchi is one among the two districts in the entire State to have won a national award for its performance with regard to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. He also explained the various schemes taken up by the agency under different programmes.

R.Ganesan, Project Officer and Joint Director, Women Development, dwelt at length on the Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission and said Tiruchi is one among the 15 districts where the programme is being implemented.

He said this is also a poverty alleviation programme virtually on the lines of the Integrated Rural Development Programme. This year it is being implemented in Manachanallur, Marungapuri, Thottityam, and Thathayangarpet unions. By April this year, it would be taken up in five more panchayat unions and by April 2014 it would be implemented in five more panchayat unions.

J.Sekar, Joint Director of Agriculture, said so far Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had announced compensation of Rs.15,000 per acre for crop loss only to the ryots of the delta region. “As soon as the G.O. in this regard is released we would come to know of the compensation for farmers in other parts of the State (including Tiruchi) .”

Meanwhile a survey of the drought-affected farmers has begun.

As groups of Adi Dravida farmers would get power tillers costing Rs.1 lakh at 100 per cent subsidy in every block, he requested the local bodies to identify such groups.

He pointed out that it had been planned to set up a number of farm ponds for which Gram Sabhas have already given their approval.

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