Tamil Nadu

Desilting work in Srivaikuntam dam is not proper, say farmers

Farmers and members of various associations staging a demonstration at the Collectorate in Tuticorin on Monday.— Photo: N. Rajesh

Farmers and members of various associations staging a demonstration at the Collectorate in Tuticorin on Monday.— Photo: N. Rajesh  

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Demand a joint committee to monitor the process

Many farmers and members of various associations thronged the Collectorate here on Monday alleging irregularities in desilting work under way in Srivaikuntam dam, and sought the intervention of the district administration.

Despite rain, the agitating members continued to press for their demand for setting up a joint committee to monitor the work. They also said that the committee should comprise farmers, officials and the public to ensure transparency. The desilting taken up by Public Works Department for 5.1 kilometres, was in progress, but priority seemed to have been given to collecting sand from the dam to sell it illegally, M.S. Raja, president, Srivaikuntam Dam Desilting Works Development Committee, said.

A series of protests had been organised to press for their demands which included installation of CCTV cameras at desilting worksite, desilting in the first reach of the dam, free distribution of clay soil collected from the work site to farmers and sale of sand lifted from the worksite at a price fixed by the government to the needy people, he said.

They had also demanded that all the 18 shutters in the dam should be maintained properly and sand should not be lifted for a distance of 500 metres from a drinking water well. But, all their demands were ignored, he said.

If these demands were not fulfilled, the farmers and the members of the public would observe an indefinite fast from September 12, he added.

C. Nainar Kulasekaran, founder of Tamirabharani River Water Protection Federation, sought the district administration to release a white paper on the desilting work, since it had not been done properly as insisted by the National Green Tribunal.

Meanwhile, cadres of Naam Thamilar Katchi, led by T.M. Prabhu, secretary, State Advocate Wing, staged a demonstration against “illegal sand mining in the dam under the pretext of desilting”.

Later, they submitted petitions to Collector M. Ravikumar.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:40:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/desilting-work-in-srivaikuntam-dam-is-not-proper-say-farmers/article7627325.ece

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