Farmers rue delay in executing river link project

December 21, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 11:15 am IST - VELLORE:

Had it been implemented the upper Palar would have received good water flow in the recent floods

The rains might have been bountiful for farmers this year, but many, especially those in the western part of the district, are not happy. They say delay in implementing the Thenpennai (Ponnaiyar) - Palar link project has led to huge wastage of water and lack of water flow in upper Palar.

Several farmers from in and around Vaniyambadi are disappointed that the link project that was initiated in 2008-2009 is yet to take form. If the project was implemented, upper Palar would have received good water flow in the recent floods, they said.

Divertion of flood waters

The project envisages diverting flood water from the Krishnagiri dam from Nedungal to Palar river basin via Kallaru, a tributary of Palar, through a link canal of nearly 54 km long by gravity.

This water is proposed to be utilised for recharging ground water potential of Palar basin, and stabilise existing command area of about 11,870 hectares being irrigated through wells and borewells now, according to National Water Development Agency (NWDA) website.

“According to officials, on an average at least 6.5 tmc ft of water flows from Krishnagiri dam to Sathanur and goes into the sea in a year. The link project envisages diverting 3.5 tmc ft of water to Palar, and 3 tmc ft to Cheyyar,” A.C. Venkatesan, president of Tamil Nadu Pasumai Paadhukaapu Makkal Iyakkam said.

He said with heavy rains and floods in the recent weeks, at least 10 tmc ft of water from Krishnagiri Dam had gone for waste.

The surplus water had flown to Sathanur Dam that had filled up after several years, and the excess water had flown into the sea.

“This year, there was good rainfall. Thenpennai river had abundant water flow. If the project was implemented, upper Palar would have received water,” he said.

Farmers rue that upper Palar did not receive even a drop of water. It was only after Ambur that the river witnessed water from Agaram eri.

As this was an intra-State link project, the Central government said it should be implemented by the State government using its own fund. The State government too had announced in the Assembly that it will take up the project with its funds, he pointed out.

No water

R. Janarthanan, a farmer in Vadakarai, Minnur said there is no water in Palar in villages such as Alasandapuram, Thimmampettai, Thumberi, Ramanaickenpettai, Vadukupattu, Thekkupattu and Ambalur.

“We have been submitting petitions seeking quick implementation of the project over the years but nothing has happened so far. If Thenpennai is linked to Palar, it will benefit farmers in six taluks including Natrampalli, Vaniyambadi, Ambur, Gudiyatham, Pernambut and Anaicut,” he said.

Public Works Department officials said the NWDA had taken up detailed study of the project. “It has prepared the Detailed Project Report. This has been submitted for environment clearance to the Central government. The report has been simultaneously submitted to the State-level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. Further action will be taken after clearance is given,” an official said.

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