Eviction drive taken up to rid irrigation channel of encroachments

Brings cheer to farmers with lands at the tail-end areas

TIRUNELVELI: Farmers having cultivable lands in the tail-end region of the Paappaankulam irrigation channel under the Karuppanadhi irrigation system in the district are the most jubilant lot now as illegal constructions made on the channel for about 6.5 km that effectively blocked the flow of water for the past 40 years have been removed, thanks to the efforts of Collector M. Jayaraman. The four decade-long unresolved problem came to light at the farmers’ grievance day meeting on February 19 in which a farmer raised the issue of the encroachment on the channel.

Free flow:Illegal construction made on Paappaankulam channel being removed at Kadayanallur. — Photo: A. Shaikmohideen

Reacting sharply over this issue, Mr. Jayaraman instructed the revenue officials to identify the illegal constructions built along the stretch of about 6.5 km on the irrigation channel and to chart out an action plan to remove them. “Illegal constructions openly challenge the authority of the official machinery even as denying a section of the people their genuine rights and hence the interests of the voiceless section of the society should be protected at any cost. The revenue officials should prepare a detailed report on this issue at the earliest so that the eviction drive can be started without any further delay,” the Collector ordered.

When the mass contact programme was conducted at Krishnapuram on March 10, Mr. Jayaraman, while explaining in detail the history behind encroachments on Paappaankulam channel and the action to be taken, assured that the eviction drive would be started only after making proper alternative arrangements for the affected.

“The public should understand the problems being created by the illegal constructions… In this particular case, the flow of water through this channel to the tail-end regions has been obstructed completely and the channel has been transformed into a drainage channel. Since we’ll ensure an alternative for the people to be affected by this eviction drive, everyone concerned should cooperate with the district administration,” Mr. Jayaraman said.

The encroachment eviction drive was started last week by involving five earthmovers and personnel drawn from various departments.

“We never dreamt that our lands that remained dry for the past forty years due to the encroachments on the irrigation channel, would become productive once again. We are so happy that over several hundreds of acres falling under this irrigation channel are going to get succour from this channel and eventually ensure revenue for us. We’re really thankful to the Collector,” said K. Balasubramanian, a farmer from Kadayanallur.

From THE HINDU

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