Lok Sabha polls | Erode farmers’ associations says CM Stalin made erroneous statements about LBP, Kalingarayan canals

Farmer leaders say Mr. Stalin, during a campaign speech, gave an incorrect number with regard to the number of acres irrigated by the LPB canal; he also said effluent discharge into the Kalingarayan Canal had stopped, but farmers claim otherwise

April 02, 2024 04:40 pm | Updated 04:40 pm IST - ERODE

A view of the Kalingarayan Canal. Farmers say its water is still polluted by the discharge of effluents from textile units in Erode

A view of the Kalingarayan Canal. Farmers say its water is still polluted by the discharge of effluents from textile units in Erode | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

Various farmers associations in the district have expressed concern that Chief Minister M.K. Stalin provided wrong information to the public on the Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) canal ayacut areas and also on the pollution levels in Kalingarayan Canal during his election campaign in Erode on March 31, 2024.

Mr. Stalin addressed a public meeting in Chinniyampalayam, during which he said the LBP Canal helps in irrigating 3 lakh acres, while seepage from the canal benefits another 5 lakh acres. “As per a government order, the total ayacut area of LBP canal is 2.07 lakh acre while through the 34 water harnessing schemes, water benefits an additional 17,000 acre,” said S. Periyasamy, president of Keel Bhavani Murai Neer Pasana Vivasayigal Kootamaippu, a famers’ association. Apart from this, 25,000 acres in the Dharapuram area, the Dharapuram Cut, that are yet to be included in the ayacut area, also get water indirectly, he pointed out, adding: “The statistics given by Mr. Stalin at the meeting were wrong.”

Likewise, Mr. Stalin had also said the extension, renovation and modernisation of the canal project, brought about by the AIADMK government, was strongly objected to by farmers and hence, concrete-lining was dropped and the DMK government had modified the project to renovate only the old masonry and structures. The association’s secretary K.V. Ponnaiyan clarified that the original project had only aimed at renovating the old structures and not concrete-lining the entire canal. 

Former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in 2009 constituted a seven-member committee under the chairmanship of A. Mohanakrishnan, then advisor to the government (Water Resources) and chairman of the Cauvery Technical Cell-cum-Inter Waters Wing, that submitted a report in 2010 recommending lining the main canal to reduce seepage and to carry water to the tail-end faster. “A government order to execute the work was issued in 2010 by the DMK government then,” he added.

Mr. Stalin also said the DMK government had prevented textile units from polluting the Kalingarayan Canal and claimed that polluting industries were moved to SIPCOT in Perundurai. He also said during the DMK rule in 1996, then Chief Minister Mr. Karunanidhi sanctioned ₹100 crore for concrete-lining the left bank of the canal. “Textile units continue to function near the canal and pollute it,” said V.M. Velayutham, president of Kalingarayan Pasana Sabai. He also clarified that concrete-lining was done for a few km during the AIADMK government, and not by the DMK government.

C. Nallasamy, president of Keel Bhavani Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam, also expressed concerns over the erroneous statements given by the CM.


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