Rs.121-cr. proposal to desilt Pazhayar basin

Staff Reporter

Nagercoil: The Government has decided to desilt the Kodayar, Kuzuthurai, Paraliyar, Pazahayar, Valliyar and Neyyar basins in a phased manner to recharge groundwater and ensure uninterrupted water supply for irrigation under Water Resource Consolidation Project with World Bank assistance.

In the first phase, Water Resource Organisation (Public Works Department) in the district has sent Rs.121-crore proposal to desilt and develop Pazhayar basin.

The World Bank has agreed to sanction Rs.92 crores after scrutinising viability of the project. The State Government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Bank for implementation of the project in a couple of months.

Main channels in Pazhayar basins — Thovalai channel (49 km), Anandanar channel (26 km), Pazhayar (44 km), Nanjil Nadu — Puthanar (20 km) and Radhapuram channels (29 km) in Tirunelveli district — would be desilted.

The carrying capacity of these channels and the river would be increased and sluices and under tunnels would be desilted while carrying out improvement works.

Narayana Murthy, Executive Engineer (WRO), said that management and maintenance of the entire Kodayar basin would be handed over to farmers.

Efficiency of the irrigation system in the Pazhayar basin would be improved for the benefit of 1.36 lakh farmers attached to 64,000 acres in old ayacut and 17,000 acres in new ayacut areas.

The World Bank has directed officials to utilise a maximum of Rs. 40,000 per hectare while carrying out improvement works. Around 25 tanks (irrigating 100 acres and above) attached to Pazhayar basin would be renovated.

The PWD will elect office-bearers of Water Users Association to hand over management and maintenance of the Pazhayar basin. The election date and the venue will be announced later.

Moreover, of the Rs.92 crores to be allotted by the World Bank, 30 per cent of the amount would be allotted to line departments such as agriculture, forest, horticulture, animal husbandry, marketing and rural development agency.

They would introduce modern technology while implementing their schemes for the benefit of farmers.

To ensure speedy execution of works, the PWD has decided to request farmers to skip one crop, as the World Bank is willing to compensate farmers in this regard.

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