Today's Paper

Farmers want second trial of water release in 18th canal to check flow

K. Raju

First trial carried out only for 12 of the total 40.8 km of canal, say farmers

It is to be inaugurated on November 24

Farmers in third reach did not get water

THENI: Even as the district administration and Public Works Department engineers are preparing for the inauguration of the much awaited 18th canal scheme, farmers in several villages between Thevaram and Gudalur, beneficiaries of the scheme, want second trial of water release to check the flow till the tail-end.

In the first release of 110 cusecs, water entered the second reach of the canal after crossing the first reach.

Farmers in the third reach did not get the water at all. The trial release was stopped owing to breaches developed in three places in the second reach. Later, the breaches were plugged.

The trial run was carried out only for 12 out of a total of 40.8 km of the canal, farmers alleged. It will take 42 hours for the water to reach tail-end areas of Thevaram.

Various farmers’ associations in Cumbum Valley convened a meeting at Thevaram on Wednesday to discuss the matter in detail. Participants expressed their unhappiness at the response from Public Works Department (PWD) officials when the issue was represented to them.

The farmers’ associations in the valley have appealed to the Collector, Executive Engineers and Chief Engineer of PWD to conduct a second trial to check the strength of the canal and detect other problems, if any, in the rest of the stretch.

Such steps would enable farmers in tail-end areas to get water from the canal.

No action had been initiated in this connection so far.

The farmers had also appealed to officials to desilt 44 tanks.

The canal, constructed at a cost of Rs.33.55 crore, will irrigate 2,634.69 acres in Uthamapalayam and 1,979 acres in Bodinaickanur blocks in Theni district. It will be inaugurated on November 24.

Collector P. Muthuveeran recently inspected the condition of the check dam at head works and the canal.

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