Residents’ initiative fills up a tank after eight years

The man-made tank in Thiruvalluvar Nagar at Mavuthampathy Panchayat in Coimbatore District was filled in the recent rain after the inlet channel was cleaned.

The man-made tank in Thiruvalluvar Nagar at Mavuthampathy Panchayat in Coimbatore District was filled in the recent rain after the inlet channel was cleaned.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

Namma Navakarai group removes waste and shrubs to ensure rain water flows into the tank

After eight years, a tank behind the Mavuthampathy Panchayat office, off the Chengapalli-Walayar highway, is full, thanks to residents teaming up with the local body to rejuvenate the water body. The Panchayat administration, through the Madukkarai Panchayat Union, constructed the tank in 2011 at ₹15 lakh under the then Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam.

The administration took up the project to store the run off water from Thiruvalluvar Nagar, says Panchayat Secretary V. Karthick.

“The Panchayat chose the location for the tank because it was a water stagnation-prone, and it also owned the land.”

A 5,000 sq.ft. area was dug 12 feet deep to create the tank, hoping rain would fill it. But it was not to be.

“In the last eight years, water never overflowed from the tank. The period also saw the ground water table go down between 1,000 ft and 2,000 feet,” says a former vice-president of the Panchayat, N. Manikandan.

Water did not flow into the tank as houses came up on the natural water course, and plastic waste and shrubs also holding up the flow, says N.S. Maheswaran, president of the local activists group, Namma Navakkarai.

To remedy the situation, Namma Navakkarai started work a few months ago by first removing plastics and shrubs from the water drain area. It then engaged the residents in waste management by giving them bins and bags for segregated disposal of waste, he says, acknowledging the help the group received from the Panchayat administration.

Even as the group went about working with the residents, the administration marshalled workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Programme to clean the tank, which was also full of bushes and waste.

The combined effort of the administration, Namma Navakkarai and residents paid off. Water started flowing into the tank during the recent rain, says Mr. Karthick. Rain water stagnated on vacant plots north of the houses that were constructed over the last eight years and could not flow freely to the tank.

The Panchayat administration and his team worked during the rain to channel the water to the tank and it is the result of this work that the tank filled up this year, Mr. Maheswaran explains.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

When this team was carrying out the works, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan team from the Central Government visited the area, appreciated the work and suggested a few more works to be taken up in the coming months, he says.

Mr. Karthick says the team has called upon the Panchayat administration to ask the residents to construct choke-pits to prevent sewage contaminating rain water, and to also explore if rain water from each house can be channelled to the tank.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 5:54:16 AM |

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