Madurai

Vaigai dam crosses 60 feet

A view of Vaigai dam near Andipatti on Sunday.

A view of Vaigai dam near Andipatti on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: G_KARTHIKEYAN

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Farmers of Nilakottai and Batlagundu areas preparing land

THENI/DINDIGUL

With the storage in Vaigai dam near Andipatti in Theni district crossing the 60-foot mark due to continuous inflow from Periyar dam, farmers in Theni and Dindigul districts are hopeful of adequate release of water for irrigation. The quantum of release from the dam has been increased to 860 cusecs for the double-crop area in Dindigul and Madurai districts from Sunday onwards.

In the Nilakottai and Batlagundu areas of Dindigul district, where the Vaigai flows, farmers have started to prepare the land for cultivation.

The recent rains have also helped the farmers in getting the land ready. “We have given the soil a fresh round of tilling and the seeds are kept ready. Some of the farmers have already sown paddy, sugarcane and banana. We hope that water from the dam will help up raise the crops,” said M. Nakkeeran, a farmer from Sekkapatti in Nilakottai taluk.

However, the farmers in Nilakottai say that a quantum of water should also be released in the river apart from the Periyar irrigation channel, so that it helps recharge groundwater table.

“For much of the year, we are dependent on borewell and wells. If some water is released through the river, the wells will get recharged,” added Nakkeeran.

Farmers in Nilakottai also point out that there’s a need for check dams across the Vaigai to retain water. After Anaipatti check dam, where the river enters Dindigul district, there’s not a single check dam along its course till it exits the district at Vilampatti.

M. Pandian, president, Madurai Theni Farmers’ Association, said that if the dam continues to fill at a faster rate, water should be released from the Duraisamypuram check dam for irrigation of over 1,200 acres in Andipatti taluk.

“Andipatti is a single-crop area unlike Cumbum valley blessed with Mullaiperiyar water. A section of farmers in Andipatti’s Amachiyapuram and other areas are dependent on Vaigai water. If water is released, it will help fill tanks such as Senkulam and Karisalkulam in the area that are major sources of irrigation,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:06:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/vaigai-dam-crosses-60-feet/article29610032.ece

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