Karunanidhi to lay stone for river linking project on February 9

T. Ramakrishnan and P. Sudhakar

CHENNAI/TIRUNELVELI: The Rs. 369-crore Tamiraparani-Karumeniyar-Nambiyar river interlinking project seeks to utilise about 20 per cent of the surplus quantum of 13.76 thousand million cubic feet, available on an average annually, in the Tamiraparani river.

Under the project, 2.765 tmcft of surplus water will be diverted through the existing Kannadian channel and the formation of a canal. The 6.5-km-long Kannadian channel’s carrying capacity will be increased from 450 cubic feet per second (cusecs) to 3,680 cusecs. A canal will be formed for 73 km, terminating with M.L. Theri, which is a sand dune. The canal can carry 3,200 cusecs of water.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will lay the foundation stone for the project at Palyamkottai on February 9.

As part of the project, the Kannadian anicut’s discharging efficiency will be improved. There will be a number of link canals that will connect the 73-km-long canal with a host of tanks in the basins of Karumeniyar and Nambiyar and the Manimuthar river’s distributory. The main canal will link with the river Pachayar. The project will benefit 50 villages in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts, of which five villages are in Palyamkottai taluk; 17 in Nanguneri taluk; 10 in Radhapuram taluk; 16 in Sathankulam taluk and two in Tiruchendur taluk. Irrigation facilities will be provided to about 23,040 hectares in the two districts.

According to officials of the Water Resources Department, the project envisages halting the progress of sea water intrusion and helping the groundwater table’s recharge. The drinking water requirements of people in the dry regions of Sathankulam and Tisayanvilai will also be met. Of about 1,076 hectares of land to be acquired, 994 hectares fall under the category of dry land and 14.5 hectares under wet land. About 68 hectares belong to poromboke. The officials are confident that the project will be completed in three years. It will be implemented in four phases with each phase containing 18 packages. Bids for nine packages were opened on Wednesday and 18 firms responded. The bids for the remaining packages will be opened on February 12 and the work order for all will be issued by the end of next month.

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