Fishermen, farmers don’t see eye to eye on river water run-off

Fishermen and farmers in Nagapattinam district are not on the same page on the issue of river water run-off into the sea at the time of the monsoons.

With water from the Kollidam draining into the sea due to heavy discharge from Mettur dam, farmers in the coastal belt have expressed their dissatisfaction with the government over incompletion of construction work on a dam.

Ffarmers in Thirumullaivasal, Edamanal, Thandavankulam, Thiruvengadu, Mangaimadam in Sirkazhi block in Nagapattinam district have been demanding early implementation of the barrage project across the Coleroon.

The project involves construction of the barrage across the river with head sluices at the downstream of the lower anicut near Adhanur and Kumaramangalam villages in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts at an estimated cost of ₹400 crore.

"The harnessing of water is necessary to irrigate several thousands of acres of agricultural land. Every year, several thousands of cusecs get emptied into the sea wastefully,” Govindaraj, a farmer in Sirkazhi, said.

Fishermen, on the other hand, say the flow of fresh water into the sea is necessary for increasing productivity of marine resources. The teeming population of plankton provides a base for diverse and valuable food webs, fuelling the growth of some of the prized fish, according to Rajendran Nattar, a fisherman of Nagapattinam, quoting scientific studies.

The richness of phytoplankton made possible through flow of fresh water into the sea leads to rich zooplankton growth, which, in turn, results in abundant fish population, studies state.

The coastal communities are benefitted as flow of river water into sea also repels salt water moving upstream, and prevents loss of wetland. Estuaries, the meeting point of fresh and salt water, fuels most productive eco systems, the studies further state.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 9:40:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/fishermen-farmers-dont-see-eye-to-eye-on-river-water-run-off/article29442859.ece

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