Farmers in Karur and Tiruchi districts have urged the State government to implement a long pending proposal to renovate Kattalai High Level Canal (KHLC).
Farmers, dependent on the canal, especially those on the tail-end areas, say there was an urgent need to remove the accumulated silt in the KHLC as they have been facing problems getting water for irrigation every season over the past few years.
The KHLC runs from the Cauvery River at Mayanur in Karur district to Thayanur in Tiruchi district, a distance of about 60 km, and irrigates about 22,000 acres in Karur and Tiruchi districts.
“Over the years, the canal has been heavily silted and it prevents the flow. Farmers in Koundampatti, Kurichi, Mudalaipatti and other villages in the tail-end areas of the canal face meagre flow every year. The sill level of the canal has increased and the bunds of the canal on either sides have also weakened. There is also a need to strengthen the sluices and other irrigation infrastructure along the canal. Damaged sluices should be replaced wherever required,” says Koundampatti R. Subramanian, deputy secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association.
The issue has been repeatedly raised in the monthly farmers’ grievances meetings in Tiruchi and Karur over the past few years. The Public Works Department officials have been maintaining that a proposal to renovate the canal has been forwarded to the government.
The State government’s performance budget for 2016-17 said that a Detailed Project Report for ‘Improvements and Rehabilitation of Kattalai High Level Canal Irrigation system’ at an estimate of ₹270 crore was under consideration. PWD sources said that the proposal is expected to be approved soon.
Mr .Subramanian claimed that revised estimates have also been forwarded to the government subsequently and urged the government to sanction the project at least in the forthcoming Budget.