Project to modernise LBP main canal halted till May 5

Following stiff opposition from farmers to carrying out works to renovate and modernise the Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) main canal at ₹709.60 crore, the district administration has halted the commencement of works till May 5.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Coimbatore on February 25 laid the foundation stone for the extension, renovation and modernisation of LBP irrigation system at a total cost of ₹933.10 crore. While package I to IV covers LBP main canal, package V covers Kalingarayan Canal and package VI covers Thadappalli and Arakkankottai Canals.

The canal helps in irrigating 2.07 lakh acres in the districts of Erode, Tiruppur and Karur. But farmers’ associations were divided over concrete-lining of the main canal. They said that it will affect recharge of groundwater.

On Thursday, attempts were made by the Public Works Department and the contractor to begin preliminary works near Chennimalai. But, due to opposition works could not be commenced.

Erode Revenue Divisional Officer C. Saifudeen chaired a meeting on Thursday in which C. Nallasamy, president, Keel Bhavani Vivasayigal Nala Sangam, Thulasimani, vice-president, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, and representatives of various other associations took part. Farmers said that the LBP project was designed in such a way that its seepage helps in recharging the wells and providing water to the trees. They said that if the project is executed, water carrying capacity would be reduced from the present 2,300 cusecs to 1,800 cusecs affecting the crops. “Due to stiff opposition, the then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa dropped the project. Let the new State government decide on the project”, they said.

Based on the request from farmers, Mr. Saifudeen assured that works will not be carried out until May 5 and added that the issue would be taken up with the new government.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 1:21:46 AM |

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