Madurai

Public chip in to revive waterbody

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₹ 3.50 lakh spent so far; ₹ 7 lakh more needed to complete the exercise

Desilting of Vaeinthaankulam near the new bus stand has become an example for making resurrection of water bodies into a people’s movement.

Though water getting stored in Vaeinthaankulam is not used for irrigation, groundwater table in Xavier Colony, Perumalpuram, NGO Colony, Veeramanickapuram, Palayamkottai Central Prison, Florence Swainson Higher Secondary School campus etc. would improve during monsoon.

But discharge of drainage into the water body from the new bus stand, dumping of waste, mostly debris, and neglected bunds on the northern side of Vaeinthaankulam robbed sheen off the tank.

As the water body, spread over 19.40 hectare, has not been desilted for decades and several truck loads of debris was dumped in the tank, the tank’s capacity had shrunk massively.

As Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish identified a few sponsors for this exercise, the water body is getting a makeover with public contribution of ₹ 3.50 lakh. Ever since the exercise was started, Tirunelveli Corporation Area Water Bodies Conservation Committee joined hands with the Collector in identifying sponsors.

“We’ve so far spent ₹ 3.50 lakh and need another ₹ 7 lakh to complete the exercise. We appeal to the sponsors to join hands with us in reviving the water body which will recharge groundwater table during monsoon,” says S. Muthusamy, secretary of the committee. After the work was started a week ago, debris dumped all these years is being removed and the soil removed is being used to strengthen the bund around the tank.

Inspecting the work on Tuesday along with Corporation Commissioner P. Vijayalakshmi, Assistant Commissioner of Melapalayam Zone, Sugi, Anna University representatives providing technical assistance and committee members, Ms. Shilpa said the work would be completed within 15 days.

When a couple of committee members suggested to create mounds within the water body to facilitate feeding of birds camping in the tank, she asked Anna University representatives to look into issue. She asked revenue officials to survey the area close to three surplus weirs.

“Once the survey is completed, the low level surplus weirs – 2 on the northern side and one in the western side – will be raised as per requirement,” said Ms. Shilpa. She asked the Corporation Commissioner to explore the possibilities of providing walkers’ path around the water body and fencing its eastern side to check encroachments and dumping of waste.

“The manner with which the work is being implemented is encouraging and refreshing. The way the irrigation tank, is being desilted has won the people’s appreciation. While the desilting is being done uniformly, the removed earth is being used to strengthen the bunds around the tank. Channels bringing rainwater to this tank are also being desilted,” said Mr. Muthusamy.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:45:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/public-chip-in-to-revive-waterbody/article28762864.ece

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