Irregularity alleged in kudimaramathu work near Melur

An elderly farmer petitions Collector and PWD officials


In yet another case of alleged irregularity in the implementation of kudimarmathu scheme in the district, an elderly farmer has petitioned the Collector and PWD officials, complaining about improprieties in the work being done in Oonukal and Puliankulam tanks in Oonukalpatti near Melur.

According to the petitioner, K.S. Rajan, a resident of Maruthur, who owns farmland in Oonukalpatti, his signature was forged to include him as an executive member of the Water Users’ Association formed to carry out maintenance work under the kudimaramathu scheme.

Citing the procedure that kudimaramathu work should be carried out by the Water Users’ Association with at least 50 % of the farmers of the particular tank’s ayacut as members, Mr. Rajan said that the work in Oonukalpatti was being done by some contractors.

“For namesake, the contractors and PWD officials have constituted an association with many of its members not even knowing that they are part of it. I am one of them,” he claimed.

In a separate petition, K. Pandi, who has been designated as president of the association, alleged that though he had signed the necessary documents, he was not explained clearly about the process or the cost involved. “The contractors just mentioned that some maintenance work was being done in the kanmai (tank) and I must be the president. I said fine. I was not consulted further,” he said in the complaint.

According to PWD officials, maintenance work is being carried out in the Oonukal and Puliankulam tanks, which are recognised together as one Oonukal Puliankulam tank, at a cost of ₹ 28.6 lakh. The work includes bund strengtheniing, sluice construction and clearing of supply channels.

Refuting the allegations, a senior official from the Periyar Vaigai Basin Circle said that the work in Oonukalpatti was being carried out in a transparent manner as per procedures. “Though Mr. Pandi initially made a complaint, he backtracked when we enquired him. In fact, there can be no irregularities since the entire fund for the work will be credited to the account of office-bearers of the association, who can subsequently release it to the persons actually carrying out the work,” he said.

Stating that the officials had convened a meeting of the Water Users’ Association in Oonukal Puliankulam on Saturday, he said that the work would be cancelled if any irregularities were found.

Kudimaramathu work is being carried out in 128 waterbodies in Madurai district at a cost of ₹ 31.12 crore. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association had alleged widespread irregularities in the implementation of the scheme. Similar issues have been raised in the monthly farmers’ grievance meetings as well.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 8:38:12 AM |

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