Condemning the resumption of works for implementing the Kodiveri Combined Water Supply Scheme that would affect the farming community, members of Thadapalli – Arakankottai – Bhavani River Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam along with traders and the public gathered in large numbers at a marriage hall at Gobichettipalayam here on Saturday.
The ₹ 237 crore water scheme intends to draw water from the ring well at the water spread area of Kodiveri anicut and supply protected drinking water to panchayat unions in Perundurai, Uthukuli (Tiruppur district) and other village panchayats. But farmers wanted the well to be located 100 metres away from the present location or in the downstream of the river as they fear that drawing water would reduce the water pressure and also result in acute water shortage for irrigation activities. Talks held over the issue with the district administration and Perundurai MLA N.D. Thoppu Venkatachalam failed as work that was halted temporarily resumed last week.
The police had turned down the request of the farmers to observe fast on Saturday and hence, farmers and others gathered at the hall.
Its president Subi. Thalapathy told mediapersons that the current water drawing point is located in the protected area of the anicut and is also located near the water discharge point for the Thadapalli canal. By implementing the water scheme, 520-year-old irrigation activities will be affected completely, he said and added that the talks for change in location of the ring well with the district administration, Tamil Nadu Water Supply Board, Public Works Department and the MLA did not yield any result. “Our only demand is that the ring well should be located 100 metres away from the anicut, either in the upper stream or in the lower stream,” he said.
He said that they are not against implementing the water scheme, but only wanted the water drawing point to be relocated. However, without meeting the demands, resuming the work is strongly condemnable, he added. Most of the shops in Gobichettipalayam were closed for the day in support of the protest.