Coimbatore

Vattamalaikarai Odai reservoir lit up with 10,008 lamps to demand release of water

The Vattamalaikarai Odai reservoir in Kangeyam taluk, Tiruppur, aglow with 10,008 lamps on Sunday.  

On Sunday, the Vattamalaikarai Odai reservoir in Tiruppur district was aglow with 10,008 lamps. Members of a farmers’ association, with the help of residents, had lit the lamps to draw the attention of the State government to release water for irrigation.

President of the Vattamalaikarai Odai Farmers’ Welfare Association, K. Palanisamy, said on Monday that the reservoir, located in Uthamapalayam in Kangeyam taluk, had not received water since 2001, long before the formation of Tiruppur district in 2009. The 650-acre reservoir, which was inaugurated in 1980, had previously received water for irrigation from the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project in 1999 and 2001 and there has been no water release after that, he said.

With over 6,000 acres of agricultural land in the area dependent on the reservoir, lack of water release and inadequate rains to fill the reservoir resulted in hundreds of small farmers taking up other occupations in the last two decades, he said.

“Many have either gone to work in garment factories in Tiruppur or have been engaging in cattle rearing,” Mr. Palanisamy said.

The Association had represented to various ministers and officials several times regarding the release of water through the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project, but no action had been taken so far, he claimed.

To mark the Karthigai Deepam festival as well as to draw the attention of the State government to this issue, residents of Uthamapalayam and neighbouring villages volunteered to light 10,008 lamps on the Vattamalaikarai Odai reservoir on Sunday evening. “If the water is released, they [small farmers] might come back to take up farming,” Mr. Palanisamy said.

Sources in the Public Works Department in Tiruppur district said that work to release the surplus water from Amaravathi dam to the Vattamalaikarai Odai reservoir was in the pipeline.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:06:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/vattamalaikarai-odai-reservoir-lit-up-with-10008-lamps-to-demand-release-of-water/article33216368.ece

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