Tamil Nadu

Farmers want Karuppanadhi dam’s capacity increased


To benefit agriculturists living up to Ooththumalai near Alangulam

Farmers from western Tirunelveli region have appealed to Collector M. Karunakaran to initiate steps for the expansion of Karuppanadhi dam to store more water in the reservoir on the foothills of the Western Ghats for the benefit of agriculturists living up to Ooththumalai near Alangulam.

Raising this issue in the farmers’ monthly grievance day meeting held at the Collectorate on Friday, farmer Madasamy from Veerakeralamputhur said the storage level of Karuppanadhi dam, which was providing succour to the plants on over 9,000 acres whenever it was overflowing, could have been much bigger to irrigate larger area.

“But the dam’s capacity was purposely reduced when it was constructed to safeguard the personal interests of a politician having vast tracts of land near the dam.”

“If the dam’s capacity was increased to store increased quantity of water, it can be used to irrigate even the cultivable lands around Ooththumalai near Alangulam,” Mr. Madasamy said.

However, the PWD officials rejected this suggestion, saying that there was no point in increasing the Karuppanadhi dam’s capacity “since influx of water into reservoir is not so heavy”.

Denying it, farmer S.T. Shaik Maideen from Vadakarai said a stream, which was going waste into the Kerala side from the catchment area, could be diverted towards Karuppanadhi dam and hence increasing the dam’s capacity to store additional water would yield desirable results by irrigating crops cultivated even at Ooththumalai area.

Accepting it, Dr. Karunakaran asked the PWD officials to prepare a project report on the possibilities of diverting the stream towards the reservoir and increasing Karuppanadhi dam’s storage capacity.

When a few farmers complained about the encroachments made in the ponds and irrigation channels that obstruct the flow of water to the next point or the fields and want the Collector to inspect these places to personally ascertain the quantum of encroachment made in the waterbodies, Dr. Karunakaran ordered the PWD and the revenue officials to immediately remove encroachments of all sorts made in the waterbodies and submit a report to him.

The Collector ordered the officials to intensify ongoing raids to check the sale of fertilizers and other agro inputs at inflated price.

When the farmers complained about the wild animal invasion into the ranches close to the Western Ghats and immediate disbursal of compensation to the destruction caused by the invading animals, Dr. Karunakaran, while asking the forest department officials to do so, informed the farmers that the district administration had written to the State Government to remove wild boar, causing extensive damage to the crop, from the list of scheduled animals.

There is no point in increasing the Karuppanadhi dam’s capacity since influx of water into reservoir is not so heavy: officials

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 6:02:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/farmers-want-karuppanadhi-dams-capacity-increased/article7436880.ece

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