Steps on to bring Cauvery water to Karaikal, says Minister

PONDICHERRY, JUNE 16. The Tourism and Education Minister, Mr.A.V. Subramanian, today said the Pondicherry Administration was taking steps to ensure that the Karaikal region received its share of Cauvery water.

Addressing presspersons here, he said normally, farm operations would be taken up in the region on 10,000 hectares with an assured water supply. But as there were difficulties in getting sufficient quantum of water, the farmers faced an uncertain situation for decades. With the erratic water supply, Kuruvai cultivation was a difficult proposition. Now with a good storage in the Mettur reservoir, there would be a good supply of water for Karaikal and the farmers could take up Kuruvai cultivation this year.

With a view to ensuring no blockade or wastage of water in the canals in the region, a three-pronged approach has now been adopted. The time-tested, French designed Syndicat Agricol system involving the ayacatdars for maintenance of irrigation sources has been taken up. Fifteen canals running up to 19 km have been desilted at a cost of Rs 1.7 lakhs. Utilising the manpower at the disposal of the PWD, 16 other canals have been desilted at a cost of Rs two lakhs.

Mr. Subramanian said tenders were being finalised for desilting of 39 more canals running up to 60 km at a cost of Rs.35 lakhs. Development of irrigation overheads would be completed with an outlay of Rs 1.67 crores in phases.

In order to store water, tail-end regulators had been finalised across Nandalar, Tirumalairajanar and Arasalar. A loan of Rs.80 lakhs had been sought from NABARD to develop a lake at Settikottam. The PWD would develop storage facilities at Nallathur and Nallambal.