The State government has planned to carry out six projects of inter-linking of rivers in the State at a total cost of Rs. 9,015 crore as part of its efforts to achieve optimal utilisation of water resources.
Stating this while initiating a debate in the Assembly on the demands for grants of the Public Works Department, PWD Minister K.V. Ramalingam explained the rationale behind the formulation of the projects.
He referred to the spatial and time difference in the distribution of rainfall, which took place over three to four months.
Water transfer from water surplus areas to deficit areas; inter-basin/sub-basin transfer after taking care of local riparian obligations; river interlinking on the basis of diversion of flood water and resorting to pumping schemes on the basis of terrain requirements formed part of the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's vision of utilising the available water potential.
Ground water resources would also be developed through recharging and augmenting of the resource through measures such as construction of check dams and recharge wells.
The Pennaiyar (Krishnagiri reservoir)-Palar link envisaged water transfer from Krishnagiri dam to Kallar, a tributary of Palar, over a period of 15 days at the rate of 5 days a month from October to December. This Scheme would stabilise an existing command area of about 2,931 acres.
As part of the Pennaiyar (Sathanur dam)-Palar link, water would be conveyed from the Sathanur dam to the Cheyyar river, another tributary of Palar, through a new head regulator and a 23.55-km-long canal. A feeder canal for 38.72 km, would be formed to feed the Nandan Channel.
About 10,700 acres of ayacut would be benefitted. This had been proposed to be executed with the funds of the State government.
Aimed at covering 30,430 acres in Salem, Namakkal, Perambalur and Tiruchi districts, the Cauvery-Sarabanga link proposed to divert water from the Mettur dam through a 182-km-long canal to augment irrigation potential in the sub-basins of Sarabanga, Thirumanimuthar and Musiri.
As part of the Avinashi-Athikadavu flood canal project, 2,000 cubic feet per second of Bhavani water would be diverted during floods to 71 tanks and 538 ponds in Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode districts. Funds of the Central government would be sought.
A 258-km-long canal from the Kattalai Barrage would be formed to transfer flood water to the Gundar. On completion, about 1.86 lakh acres would be stabilised, besides bridging a gap of around 33,000 acres. Tiruchi and Srirangam would be protected from floods. This project had been posed to the Union government for assistance.
As a pre-condition to the link, a barrage was being constructed downstream Kattalai bed regulator in Karur district at a cost of Rs. 234 crore.
The government also proposed to build check dams over those rivers that were sought to be covered under the projects of inter-linking of rivers.
On the Tamiraparani-Karumeniyar-Nambiyar link, the Minister informed the House that under the first and second stages of the project costing Rs. 369 crore, an expenditure of around 174 crore was till now incurred.