TAMIL NADU

Farmers for desilting of channels in Tirunelveli

P. Sudhakar

Work is yet to begin, even though government has given nod

TIRUNELVELI: Though the State Government has reportedly agreed in principle to allocate adequate funds to desilt and concretise the Tirunelveli, Kodagan, Arugankulam and Palayam irrigation channels, all passing through the corporation limits to provide succour to thousands of people, the work is yet to commence.

As all these major irrigation channels of the Tamirabharani basin are half-filled with debris, human and household waste, flooding of water into the residential areas has become common during the monsoon. Following an appeal from farmers, a technical team, which visited the affected areas on December 3, 2006 along with the then Commissioner for Municipal Administration Niranjan Mardi, was shocked by deposits of debris and encroachments on the channels.

During a discussion that followed the visit, Mr. Mardi, while assuring of all possible help, asked the top officials to have a look at the desilting exercise successfully carried out in some of the PWD channels falling within the limits of Salem and Madurai Corporation limits before commencing their work here.

The then Collector of Tirunelveli district also promised the Mayor, A.L. Subramanian, that the CMA would perfectly play the role of a facilitator in the negotiations between the Corporation and the PWD for getting the no objection certificate for desilting of their irrigation channels.

When Mr. Subramanian submitted a petition to PWD Minister S. Durai Murugan also with the same plea, he urged the department to bear the cost. Subsequently, the PWD informed the Mayor that necessary estimates for lining the channels of Kodagan and Tirunelveli were under preparation and the work on renovating Palayam channel would be taken up after the first phase.

“However, the work is yet to commence, leaving the farmers in the lurch,” complained the president of Tamirabharani – Palayam Channel Farmers’ Association I. Vijayan.

A meeting of the association held here on Sunday appealed to the district administration and the State Government to take up the desilting exercise at the earliest.

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