Bountiful harvest in R.S. Mangalam likely: officials

Staff Reporter

Ramanathapuram: Though some parts of the district were hit by recent flood, R.S. Mangalam Big Tank, the second largest tank in the State, has reached its full capacity after a gap of seven years and in safe condition, thanks to good inflow from uncontrolled streams.

The tank, which is 45 km from here, can store 1205 mcft (1.2 tmc) of water. The circumference of the tank is 19.8 km. Its capacity is nearly one fourth of Vaigai dam. There are 72 tanks on the downstream, which are fed by R.S. Mangalam tank.

The tank was empty until November 24. Farmers of 5,225 acres had lost hope because of poor rainfall. But, the tank received copious inflow mostly through uncontrolled streams.

Sarugani and Suriyakottai rivers feed nearly 50 per cent of water to the tank. The tank has to depend on its own catchments for the remaining water. But, this year, the flood in Sarugani river and a number of uncontrolled streams led to filling of the largest tank within three days. The extra water has led to filling of 72 connecting tanks, which irrigate 7,500 acres.

The records of the Public Works Department show that the tank reached its maximum capacity just two times in the last 11 years, once in 1994 and 1998. Now, the tank is still getting water from Sarugani river.

Though a section of farmers were in distress due to flooding of paddy fields in other parts of the district, ayacutars of R.S. Mangalam tank are hopeful of good harvest this time.

A. Sheik Abdullah, Agricultural Officer, said the current water level would be immensely helpful to get bountiful harvest, as the land was fertile in these parts. "We can expect record harvest in R.S. Mangalam area, as the condition is excellent for bountiful harvest," he said.

Meanwhile, most of the tanks in Ramanathapuram block including the big tank and Sakkarakottai tank have filled due to flood in the Vaigai.

K.S. Abdul Rashid, Assistant Executive Engineer, PWD (water division), said that despite lot of difficulties, officials and field staff saved at least 50 per cent of floodwater that came from the Vaigai. More than 60 PWD controlled tanks out of 90 tanks in Ramanathapuram block were filled. Water level in other tanks was also satisfactory.