Madurai

Youths’ contribution ensures desilting of irrigation tank

Residents of Pottal near Palayamkottai desilting a waterbody in their hamlet.   | Photo Credit: m lakhsmiarun;m lakhsmiarun - m lakshmiarun

Without waiting for the Public Works Department’s assistance for desilting a systemised irrigation tank in their village, residents of Pottal near Palayamkottai have mobilised funds to complete desilting of the waterbody in their hamlet hoping that the forthcoming southwest monsoon would revive farming operations in and around their hamlet.

Whenever the farmers would appeal to the PWD officials during the monthly grievance redressal meetings to desilt the irrigation tanks in their villages or repair the damaged shutters, the monotonous reply they would normally get would be the requests would get fulfilled on getting funds from the government. However, situation would not change for sure for the next couple of years despite repeated attempts made by the farmers concerned.

And, the ongoing ‘kudimaraamaththu’ has also failed to excite the farmers as desilting or renovation of only 106 waterbodies and associated channels have been selected to be executed on the outlay of ₹6 crore while the district has 2,518 irrigation tanks, including 1,221 systemised and 1,297 non-systemised tanks.

Having been aware of the reality, a group of 30 youths from Pottal near Palayamkottai, all working with private firms and still continuing farming operations in their ranches, have contributed ₹30,000 for desilting one of the four irrigation tanks close to their village.

“When we struggled a lot to remove the water weeds and thorny bushes grown inside the smallest tank, we’d to hire an earthmover for ₹10,000 a day and the desilting of this waterbody is nearing completion. If the PWD joins hands with us, we can easily desilt all the four tanks in our village,” said D. Suresh, a private bank employee from Pottal, who is also involved in the work.

Along with the youths, the school students are also enthusiastically involved in the work.

Farmer Kanagaraj of Pottal said that all four tanks near the hamlet, getting water from Palayam Channel, were nourishing the crops, mostly paddy and plantain cultivated on 3,000 acres in Pottal, Vellakovil and Keezhanattham.

“Now, the desilting has revived our hopes that the nature would bless the efforts of our youths and bring water to the now bone dry irrigation tanks during southwest monsoon,” Mr. Kanagaraj said.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:16:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/residents-contribution/article18560849.ece

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