Digital mapping of waterbodies completed in Tirunelveli district

Minister for Industries, Thangam Thennarasu inspects the Venthankulam tank in Tirunelveli on Friday.   | Photo Credit: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

For the first time in Tamil Nadu, Tirunelveli district administration has launched an initiative to restore and rejuvenate waterbodies with the help of government agencies, residents, volunteers and corporate bodies after completing digital mapping.

The prime objective of this initiative, called ‘Nellai Neervalam’ (Tirunelveli Water Resources), is preparing the Digital Water Atlas of Tirunelveli district, which has 1,237 waterbodies, administered by Public Works Department and urban and rural local bodies. The second objective is restoration and rejuvenation of these waterbodies with citizens’ participation for conserving them.

The initiative has been set in motion by Collector V. Vishnu since Tirunelveli being an agrarian district with the Tamirabharani being the backbone of farming operations and drinking water needs. With encroachments and dumping of waste posing serious threat to the waterbodies, the district administration has started the initiative.

First leg over

The first leg of this programme – preparing GIS-based ‘Digital Water Atlas’ showing all the waterbodies – has been completed and is available on Now the next task of restoration and rejuvenation has begun.

Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu, who set in motion the initiative at Venthankulam near new bus stand on Friday in the presence of Mr. Vishnu, said Venthankulam, which was deepened with public contribution two years ago, would get a makeover with the Corporate Social Responsibility fund of ₹80 lakh to be released by a private firm.

Restoration work started simultaneously in 21 other waterbodies at the same time on Friday.

Besides rejuvenating the waterbodies – both systemised and non-systemised – Tamirabharani, the source of water for four southern districts, would also be taken care of. The river, from Papanasam to Tirunelveli, has been divided into 59 segments to be assigned to volunteers and students for cleaning the banks and preventing influx of sewage into the perennial river.

As part of the initiative, over 4,000 trees are to be planted along the river after cleaning the banks. “Moreover, the granite mandapams along the river will also be restored as we are planning to attract tourists to the river with new features such as boat rides at select points,” Mr. Thennarasu said.

Those who wish to join hands with the district administration in this endeavour can register their names in the website

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 9:22:05 AM |

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