The district administration, which has prepared a comprehensive water contour for all 204 village panchayats with GIS technique to implement drinking water schemes, has proposed to complete restoration of 75 tanks under the ‘Nellai Neervalam’ scheme before the onset of northeast monsoon.
Collector V. Vishnu initiated the programme for restoring neglected water bodies under the control of the local bodies across the district with public contribution and a good number of tanks have been given face-lift since last year. Without causing any expenditure to the government exchequer, he mobilised funds, materials and volunteers required for this movement with the active participation of public, especially retired government employees, local VIPs, public representatives, school and college managements and businessmen, who either fund the programme through a bank account being managed by a small group of people for each project or sponsor material like earth-movers for the work.
“The Vaeinthaankulam tank, which has been restored under ‘Nellai Neervalam’ programme and consequently overflowed during last northeast monsoon, still holds water even during this hot summer, thanks to the work we did last year. Similarly, we’ve identified 75 water bodies across the district, which are being desilted and their bunds strengthened. The supply channels are also being desilted to feed these water bodies. We’re working intensely to complete these works before the onset of northeast monsoon this year,” says Mr. Vishnu.
To accelerate this work further, the District Collector has decided to utilize the ‘World Rivers Day’ to be celebrated on the fourth Sunday of September every year. Hence, a series of awareness programmes have been planned for the coming Sunday (September 25) to involve more sponsors and volunteers to speed up the ongoing works.
As a run-up for this programme, a series of awareness programmes are going to be organized in the form of rallies at three places – from Thiruppudaimarudhur to Kallidaikurichi, at Suththamalli and Gopalasamudram – on Friday (September 23). On the next day, cleaning up operation will be carried out at 12 spots along the Tamirabharani watercourse.
The summit session ‘Water conclave’ will be organized in Centenary Hall in Palayamkottai on Sunday in which water and nature conservationists from ATREE, Care Earth and a few more organizations will participate.
“Since we are polluting badly the Tamirabharani with domestic and industrial sewage and detergents, we’ve planned to appeal to the public not to use bath soap, shampoo, detergents or oil for at least two days while taking bath in the perennial river,” said Mr. Vishnu, who has roped in GIS expert Raj Bhagat, an executive with the Water Resources Institute of India, for preparing water contour for all 204 village panchayats of the district.
“Since this kind of mapping will be of great help in future to the official machinery in executing the drinking water schemes or sinking of borewell for supplying water to a hamlet, we’ve done it with the technical expertise of an expert in this field,” Mr. Vishnu said.