Dindigul records lowest rainfall in 50 years

Farmers told to use available water judiciously and raise dry crops like grains, oil seeds, pulses and millets

With sporadic rain, water table goes down sharply, Several irrigation wells has meagre quantum of water

DINDIGUL: Despite the early onset of south west monsoon, the district recorded the lowest rain in the last fifty years. With sporadic or no rain in several parts of the district, water table had gone down sharply and several irrigation wells had meagre quantum of water.

These were highlighted at the agriculturists’ grievance day meeting presided over by Collector M. Vallalar here on Thursday.

Farmers were advised to use the available water judiciously and raise dry crops like grains, oil seeds, pulses and millets.

The public works engineers informed farmers that 2,230 rain fed tanks had very less quantum of water.

Seventy per cent of 97,534 irrigation wells had water that could be pumped for one to two hours for irrigation and rest of the wells had water that could pumped for two to three hours only.

However, condition of horticulture crops in many pockets was good. Actual rain fall recorded up to June this year was just 122.08 mm when compared to the scheduled average rainfall that was 232.1 mm.

However, rain in the month of June was promising for farmers. June had recorded 60.1 mm rain against scheduled normal rain fall of 32.3 mm.

Rainfall in January was 0.9 mm compared to a 50-year average of 33.9 mm. It was nil in February and March. In April, rainfall was just 12.81 mm compared to the 50-year average of 61 mm. May month had recorded slightly more than the five decade average. It got 85.18 mm rain (five decade average 78.4 mm).

Briefing about renovation of tanks in town panchayats, the Collector said that MGNREG scheme could not be implemented for desilting of tanks and rehabilitation supply channels in town panchayats and municipalities.

District administration had sent separate proposals to the government for special funds to take up rehabilitation of tanks and supply channels within town panchayat and municipalities.

In the meanwhile, discussion was on with the town panchayat officials and elected representatives in utilising a portion of panchayat’s general fund for this purpose, he stated. “We had already started linking of canals and tanks in rural areas.”

When a farmer complained about massive encroachment of tank in Natham, he ordered the Natham block development officer to remove the encroachment on or before Monday.

Many farmers complained about encroachments of water bodies and accumulation of silt in irrigation tanks and channels.


Seasonal Cool Drinks – But its all in Plastic

TO QUENCH THIRST:Cool drinks (Covered with Plastic Bottles) are in great demand in summer. A scene in Tuticorin. — Photo: N. Rajesh.


Woes of scarcity

Well done: People waiting for their turn to collect water from a public well on Chathiram Street in Dindigul. PHOTO : G. KARTHIKEYAN.


Illegal sand mining poses threat to river, bridges

Rules on sand lifting near bridge to keep pillars safe are flouted

DINDIGUL: Rampant illegal sand mining being taken up in large scale, that too in broad day light, on Sandhanavarthini River poses grave threat to bridges constructed across culverts and prime roads, cultivable lands in rain fed areas and irrigation wells.

Alarming:Illegal sand mining taken up on Sandhanavarthini river at Kulathur near Dindigul on Saturday.— PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN

Neither the government officials nor elected representatives of local bodies pay attention to it. Even local people too do not object to these illegal activities without realising that such activities will ultimately affect their livelihood.

Earlier, sand lifters used to lift sand from the interior parts of the river either at dusk or at night discreetly using bullock carts or mini goods carrier vehicles. With not even a reprimand either from revenue or from mining officials, sand lifters do all the processing work including collection, stone removal and sieving on the river bed and dispatch the finished product leisurely in lorries to the respective destination.

Even elected representatives do not care to realise its adverse impact and take steps to prevent this hazard.

The abundant lenience of the officials and representatives encourages sand lifters to start lifting sand even near the main road in Kulathur without fear. All rules on sand lifting near the bridge area in order to keep the pillars and abutment safe are flouted as they lift large quantity of sand near the bridge, said environmentalists. “This illegal exercise will cause a grave threat to the river environment and severe damage to the bridge.”

Now, the river bed near Kulauthur is full of large pits. The worst affected are farmers. Flow of rainwater in the river recharges irrigation wells that irrigate at least one rain fed crop per year. Sand mining wipes out their last hope also.

Top soil is a non-renewable resource. The river bed sans sand does not retain water and allow it to flow towards dam without recharging ground water table and irrigation wells. In the long run, it will cripple the economic development of rural areas parlaying even rain-fed agriculture activities, they stated.

Originated from Sirumalai, Sandhanavarthini River passes through Sanarpatti, Eriyode, Kulathur and several villages and hamlets and finally confluence with Kudaganar River.


Torrential rain rocks Dindigul; Theni records sporadic rainfall

Heavy downpour hits Kodaikanal disrupting movement of tourists

DINDIGUL: Torrential rain rocked Dindigul district last night, damaging bunds of several tanks and check dams and washing away barricade of culverts and retention wall of Chinnar River which was constructed last month at Adhi Lakshmipuram in Athoor union.

it's bad:Dindigul-Sempatti Road at Adhi Lakshmipuram near Dindigul that got damaged due to the rain.

Some stretches of Athoor-Dindigul road was also washed away owing to flash floods in streams.

Several tanks in Athoor, Batlagundu and Nilakottai were overflowing. Nilakottai recorded the highest rainfall of 156.2 mm in the district last night, followed by Kodaikanal that received 90.5 mm. Prime roads in Nilakottai town were flooded with rain water paralysing normal life.

Tanks at Kurumbapatti, Noothalapuram, Kualthupatti, Koovanuthu, Valankottai, Nilakottai pass and at Eeli Naickenpatti were full.

Rain water flooded Nilakottai town owing to massive encroachment of the discharge channel of main tank near the town.

Tourists too had tough time on Kodaikanal hill as heavy down pour hit the hill, disrupting movement of tourists.

Train services were resumed early in the morning as technical crew worked throughout the night to drain the rain water that had flooded one of the tracks between Kodaikanal and Dindigul section.


Except the Vaigai dam and Veerapandi, the district and Periyar catchments recorded sporadic rain only.

However, inflow into both Periyar and Vaigai dams was good.

Agriculture activities were in full swing in rain fed areas. Agriculture officers hoped that area under pulses and cereals cultivation will go up substantially. This was the fourth rainfall during this summer.

Water level in Periyar dam rose marginally to 109.9 feet. Inflow was 174 cusecs and the discharge nil.

Storage was 895 mcft. Inflow into Vaigai dam has been steadily increasing, thanks to torrential showers in the dam site. The dam recorded 47 mm rain, highest rainfall in the district.

Storage level in the dam went up to 29.79 feet on Saturday (29.46 feet on Friday), due to an inflow of 204 cusecs. Storage was 360 mcft. The discharge was 41 cusecs.

Rainfall recorded at various places in both districts at 8 a.m. on Friday in mm: Periyar 6, Thekkadi 1.8, Goodalur 2.8, Uthamapalayam 6, Shanmuga River Dam 2, Vaigai dam 47 and Veerpandi 32, Dindigul 42.2, Natham 57, Nilakottai 156.2, Palayam 12, Oddanchatram 24.5, Vedasandur 38.5, Vedasandur Tobacco Research Station 45.2, Kodaikanal 62.2 and Kodaikanal Boat Club 90.5.