Madurai

Desilting of Hanumanadhi channel to begin shortly

Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish inspecting Hanumanadhi at Vadakkankulam in Tirunelveli on Sunday.

Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish inspecting Hanumanadhi at Vadakkankulam in Tirunelveli on Sunday.  

The project will ensure smooth supply of water to 47 tanks

After a gap of several decades, desilting of the 32 km-long Hanumanadhi watercourse from Rosmiyapuram near Panagudi to Perumanal near Koodankulam in the district will be taken up shortly to ensure hassle-free supply of water for irrigation to 47 tanks.

The desilting is expected to improve groundwater table in the region, which, in turn, will neutralise fluoride content in the water table and also check seawater intrusion into coastal hamlets.

To effectively divert water from Alanthauraiyar, which originates on the western slopes of the Western Ghats, to Hanumanadhi basin, a scheme was implemented in 1983.

Though Kanjipaarai check dam and the canal downstream, which plays a major role in diverting water from Alanthuraiyar to Hanumanadhi, were damaged long ago due to heavy rain, the structures were not repaired till November last.

After Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish received petition from farmers about the problem, she visited the spot situated deep inside the reserve forest area and released funds for reconstruction of the check dam and desilting of the channel.

When the work was completed, several upstream irrigation tanks received water during the north-east monsoon last year.

To make it more effective, desilting of Hanumanadhi watercourse has been taken up.

Post-desilting, the watercourse will feed 47 irrigation tanks, improve groundwater table in fluoride-affected areas and check intrusion of seawater into the areas around Perumanal.

“Farmers of this region, who have formed Nam Hanumanadhi Iyakkam [Our Haruman River Movement] have joined hands with the district administration in reviving the river, now filled with silt and debris and encroached upon over the years,” the Collector says.

“We will start the work shortly and ensure free flow of the river as it gets water from the Alanthuraiyar,” adds Ms. Shilpa.

The alarming level of fluoride content in the groundwater in the region poses health hazards to those who consume it and the revival of Hanumanadhi watercourse will dramatically improve the quality of groundwater in Panagudi, Kaavalkinaru, Vadakkankulam and Sivasubramaniapuram, she points out.

G. Sakthinathan, Deputy Director of Anna University Constituent Colleges, Chennai, who is extending technical support in the desilting operation, says: “If we can ensure the flow of water from the Western Ghats up to Perumanal, the fluoride content in the groundwater table will get neutralised to the desirable level and, hence, the desilting work is going to be taken up.”

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 8:58:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/desilting-of-hanumanadhi-channel-to-begin-shortly/article31781411.ece

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