Farmers form a group, protect tank from plastics menace

Updated - February 13, 2015 11:37 am IST

Published - February 12, 2015 12:00 am IST - TIRUCHI:

People of Poongudi near Tiruchi have set an example of protecting a water body and for utilising it optimally for irrigating the fields.

The hard toil of the 60-odd farmers of Poongudi village in cultivating double crop every year has been paying dividend. About 200 acres of land is being irrigated by the tank which has a water spread of 140 acres. The villagers have formed “water user committee” which ensures proper maintenance of the tank, preventing it from pollution. “We do not allow plastic waste or garbage to be dumped in the tank,” says K. Seethapathi, organiser of the committee.

The committee meets periodically and keeps a close follow-up of the storage capacity and the quantum of water to be discharged daily. The people of the village had been forthcoming, facilitating farmers to raise two crops.

They have harvested “TNAU TRY Rice 3” introduced by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural College — Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute and are awaiting the second crop of ‘ADT 36’ or ‘CO (R) 5O’ to be raised in a few months.

“We advise farmers not only to protect the tank but to ensure its judicious use through ‘tom tom’ during the course of irrigation,” says Mr. Seethapathi.

S. Narayanasamy, a progressive farmer and organiser of the People Welfare Committee, points out that the tank got its supply from Pudhu Kattalai Mettu Vaikkal.

Impressed by the proper management of the tank, Indian Farmers’ Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) chipped in with a free supply of gypsum to farmers to reduce the sodic effect. “The village, located in the Manikandam block, is affected by the sodic impact and the application of gypsum will ensure proper growth of the paddy crop,” says D. Subramanian, Chief Area Manager, IFFCO, which has adopted the village.

Farmers say they were not complacent with their achievement. “Although we have been raising two crops, we have the capacity to raise the third crop,” say Mr. Seethapathi and Mr. Narayanasamy.

They said that against the area of 140 acres, water was stored only on 80 acres. The villagers had been pleading for dredging the tank so that they could raise the third crop. “The villagers are prepared to even contribute their share if the State government mooted any proposal,” says Mr. Seethapathi.

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