Madurai

Alanthuraiyar scheme ensures supply for 55 irrigation tanks

The timely completion of Aalanthuraiyaar diversion scheme has ensured smooth flow of water into 55 irrigation tanks in the southern part of Tirunelveli.

The timely completion of Aalanthuraiyaar diversion scheme has ensured smooth flow of water into 55 irrigation tanks in the southern part of Tirunelveli.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

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The project was executed in a hostile terrain deep inside the forest

The timely completion of a difficult irrigation project – Alanthuraiyar diversion scheme – in a highly hostile terrain deep inside the reserve forest beyond Panagudi before the start of northeast monsoon has ensured unhindered flow of water to 55 irrigation tanks in the southern part of the district.

Alanthuraiyar river that originates in the western slopes of the Western Ghats is one of the tributaries of the Pazhayiar flowing in Kanniyakumari district.

Alanthuraiyar River Diversion (from Pazhaiyar to Hanumanadhi inter-basin transfer) Scheme was implemented in 1983with the objective of diverting flood flows in Alanthuraiyar valley in Thovalai taluk of Kanniyakumari district towards Hanumanadhi basin in the dry Radhapuram taluk in Tirunelveli district to supply water to 47 irrigation tanks, including eight irrigation tanks served by Sooravalli odai.

Under this scheme, reconstruction of badly damaged Kanjiparai check dam across Alanthuraiyar river, excavation of upper contour canal from Kanjiparai check dam to Sooravalli odai, and construction of Sooravalli check dam for diversion of water to eight tanks were carried out. The eight tanks to benefit are Maiaputhukkulam, Sivakamiputhukkulam, Perumalputhukkulam, Manimalayankulam, Vinayagarputhukkulam, Periyaputhukkulam, Kaliputhukkulam and Punjakattikulam.

“In Alanthuraiyar river diversion scheme, the upper contour canal that runs through reserve forest from Kanjiparai check dam for about 1.55 km with the bed width of 6.70 metre to carry 280 cusecs of water is the key link for the inter-basin water transfer.

Owing to heavy rainfall in the past, the canal was damaged by landslip and and deposition of boulders at several places. Huge deposition of silt had almost filled up the entire canal,” said Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish, who visited the spot on getting information from farmers about the obstacles to flow of water for 55 irrigation tanks. She released funds in the first phase with which two excavators were hired. Labourers could reach the workplace only on foot after travelling for a distance from the forest periphery in tractors. The forest personnel too had to be taken along with them.

“Since we’d to work in the home for wild animals, we faced threat almost daily. When we saw pug marks of a few animals on the second day of the work, forest personnel explained that panther, wild dogs and wild buffalo herds had visited the workplace the previous night. When our team saw a single tusker and a king cobra feasting on a monitor lizard very close to the work spot, it sent shivers down the spine. We ran for safety and returned to work only after the threat subsided. But, there is satisfaction that we’ve completed a good job before the onset of monsoon,” said S.V. Subhash, Assistant Engineer, PWD. When a team of farmers from Panagudi, Lebbaikudiyiruppu and Kavalkinaru visited the spot along with PWD officials in the first week of October, they expressed satisfaction over completion of the project.

“Now, all our tanks have decent storage as the Alanthuraiyar river diversion has been effectively revived after decades, thanks to the Collector and her team,” said farmer Franklin of Panagudi.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 11:37:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/alanthuraiyar-scheme-ensures-supply-for-55-irrigation-tanks/article30063111.ece

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