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

Water released from Barur tank

KRISHNAGIRI: Water was released from the main irrigation canal of Barur tank in Pocchampalli taluk on Wednesday for the first crop.

Collector V. Arun Roy released the water by opening the sluice gates of the east and west main canals in the presence of E.G. Sugavanam, MP, . Water would be released till November 26 benefiting 2512.39 acres.

From THE HINDU

Check pollution of irrigational sources: Pudukottai Collector

Farmers oriented towards tank modernisation projects

PUDUKOTTAI: Irrigational sources should be free from pollution for ensuring safe agricultural operation and enhancing productivity.

To achieve this goal, farmers should take steps to protect the ground water and the surface sources, observed A. Suganthi, Collector.

Presiding over a meeting of the representatives of the Water User Associations (WUA) of the Agniyar, Ambuliyar, South Vellar and Pambar sub-basins in the district on Tuesday, the Collector said that farmers had a dual responsibility of stepping up productivity and also protection of the natural resources, particularly soil and ground and irrigational water.

Massive projects were being executed on the Agniyar, Ambuliyar, South Vellar and Pambar with a view to restoring the original ayacut of these sub-basins under the “Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water bodies Restoration and Management” (I AMWARM) scheme. As many as 850 tanks were located in these sub-basins and an equal number of WUAs, at the rate of one WUA for every tank, would ensure efficient management of irrigational water. These WUAs were being formed through election in local villages. Barring a few areas, election to the WUAs had been conducted for a major number of tanks. The Collector appealed to the WUA representatives to take maximum advantage of the IAMWARM scheme. R. Selvaraj, Executive Engineer, South Vellar Sub-basin, Pudukottai, said that the objective of the meeting was to sensitise the farmers about the various works being executed jointly by various departments and agencies including the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University; Animal Husbandry Department; Agricultural Engineering Department and Horticulture Department. Works on the South Vellar and Pambar sub-basins would be completed shortly.

S. Natarajan, Executive Engineer, said that the work on modernisation of tanks on the Agniyar and the Ambuliyar sub-basins were in full swing.

From THE HINDU

Dindigul: Project on linking of irrigation tanks extended

DINDIGUL: With the successful implementation of a pilot project at Gujiliamparai union, the district administration has extended the project on linking of irrigation tanks and renovation of supply channels to all panchayat unions in the district except Kodaikanal.

Launching the project at Sukkampatti panchayat near here on Tuesday, Collector M. Vallalar said that 109-km supply channel would be rehabilitated and linked with 50 tanks.

A total of 62-km channel was partially silted and 14-km channel massively damaged, he said.

This project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs.3.55 crore under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme. It will generate 3.55 lakh man days providing jobs to lakhs of rural farm workers who have registered their names under MGNREGS.

Fourteen silt ravaged ponds in Gujiliamparai, two in Dindigul, six in Athoor, four in Reddiyarchatram, two in Sanarpatti, seven in Natham, one each in Nilakottai, Batlagundu and Vedasandur, three each in Oddanchatram and Thoppampatti and six in Vadamadurai unions will be renovated.

In Dindigul union alone, 28.27-km supply channel will be desilted and rehabilitated.

On completion of this project, rural people, particularly farmers, will reap maximum benefits. A total of 215 million cubic feet of water will be stored in these renovated tanks and 1,200 open wells and 3,750 bore wells will be recharged.

The water table at nearby villages will go up sharply. Besides, 22,725 hectares of land will be brought back to cultivation. Water stored in these tanks would feed 71,000 cattle and act as sustainable drinking water source to more than 30 habitations, he added.

The district administration has plans to plant 2.5 lakh saplings in the district in September to make the district green. Saplings will also be planted along the banks of these channels. Instructions were given to dig several pits along supply channels for planting saplings.

From The Hindu

Madurai: Delay in water release for irrigation

Situation may become worse if there is further delay in rainfall

THENI: Despite onset of south west monsoon in time, poor storage in Periyar dam and sporadic or no rain in its catchment areas may delay the release of water from the dam for irrigation of first crop in the double cropping area of Cumbum Valley.

alas: A scenic view of Mullaperiyar dam on Western Ghats near Tamil Nadu border.

Farmers were perplexed over storage level in the dam. Water level stood at 110.20 feet in Periyar dam. Inflow and discharge was just 20 cusecs. (Release is possible only when the level touched 112 feet.)

Normally, Public Works Department engineers release water from the dam for irrigation on June 1. But farming activities and raising nurseries start in the last week of May to do transplantation in the second week of June. Farmers utilise seepage water from the dam to raise nurseries. It takes minimum 45 days to raise nurseries using traditional method.

But these things did not take place in the valley this year.

Possibility of releasing water even in the second week of June for irrigation was solely depending on rain in its catchment areas, said farmers. But poor rain in catchment areas of Periyar dam shattered our hopes. Delay in release would affect all agriculture activities, hit harvesting of first crop and ultimately force us to postpone the second crop, they deplored.

“Farmers in the valley harvest two paddy crops in September or October and January or February and the third crop either pulses or millets, before April. We hope the rain will pick up at right time,” said K.M. Abbas, president, Five District Farmers Associations.

Level in Vaigai dam too was not encouraging. Water level stood at 29.23 feet. Inflow was nil and the discharge was 41 cusecs.

Water crisis

Already, Cumbum town, very close to the dam, have been reeling under acute drinking water crisis. The Cumbum Municipality was struggling to maintain drinking water supply. At present, supply was made to residents once in 20 days. Besides, 40 wells were dug to meet drinking water needs of village and town panchayats.

Despite stern actions taken by the district administration against illegal pumping from river, drinking water supply could not be streamlined in several areas. Releasing water from the dam for irrigation without streamlining drinking water supply was very remote, said representatives of farmers’ association. However, sudden showers in Idukki district on Thursday evening and moderate rain in Goodalur and Cumbum Valley last night keep farmers’ hope alive.

Rainfall recorded at various places in the district at 8 a.m. on Thursday (in mm) was: Periyar 23, Shanmuga River Dam 8, Veerapandi 6, Thekkadi 1.8, Palayam 12 and Vaigai dam 1.

K. Raju From THE HINDU

Last irrigation year was good for delta farmers

CHENNAI: The last irrigation year – June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010 – was, comparatively, a better one for Cauvery delta farmers with the State receiving more than the annual quantum fixed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its interim order.

As per the interim order, Karnataka has to release 205 thousand million cubic (tmc) ft of water to Tamil Nadu during an irrigation year. The State received 219.44 tmcft, a surplus of 14.44 tmcft. Karnataka let out only the surplus water from its reservoirs and did not release water into the river as and when flow was received.

During the south-west monsoon from June to September, the tribunal has prescribed 137 tmcft, nearly 66.82 per cent of the total quantum, considering the fact that Karnataka gets copious rain during this period.

Last year, the State received 135.94 tmcft, a shortfall of about 1.06 tmc ft. But, the month-wise release of water during the season was not as per the schedule prescribed by the tribunal.

In June Karnataka released 6.071 tmcft as against 10.16 tmc ft, in July 39.899 tmc ft against 42.76 tmcft and in August, 34.625 tmcft as against 54.72 tmcft.

In September Tamil Nadu received 55.34 tmc ft, when the prescribed quantum was only 29.36 tmcft. Since Karnataka failed to release the required quantity during the first three months of the irrigation year, the opening of the Mettur reservoir got delayed, forcing the farmers to skip the kuruvai crop.

Again, during the north-east monsoon from October to December, as against the prescribed 56.59 tmcft, the State realised 60.13 tmcft, an excess of 3.45 tmc ft.

During this period, the State got sufficient rain, especially in the delta districts, thereby reducing the pressure on the Mettur reservoir.

From January to May, the realisation was 11.961 tmcft more than the prescribed quantity of 11.41 tmcft.

As the reservoir was closed for irrigation from January 31 to May 31, the excess inflow was used to build up the storage to a certain extent. Wednesday’s storage in the reservoir was 38.473 tmcft and inflow, 3,164 cusecs.

From THE HINDU

Dharmapuri: Water released for irrigation to benefit 15 villages

for farmers: Collector P. Amutha releasing water from Vallimadurai Dam for irrigation on Tuesday.

DHARMAPURI: Collector P. Amutha released water from Vallimadurai Dam on Tuesday for irrigation through Right Main Canal (RMC) and Left Main Canal (LMC). The water would be released for 16 days. As many as 5,108 acres in 15 villages would get benefited.

The water would be released from RMC for first five days and next six days from LMC and for the last five days to lakes on Varattaru. A maximum of 35 cft water would be released on rotation basis to these three ayacut areas.

After releasing the water, Ms. Amutha asked the farmers to cooperate with the PWD officials and use the water judiciously and reap maximum benefit.

The village panchayats to be benefited from the water release are: Vallimadurai, Thatharavalasai, Samanatham, Keeraipatti, Kudiyampatti, Achalwadi, Samanathampudur, Ellapudyaamatti, Nachinampatti, Kilaparai, Eettiyampatti, Mambadi, Sellampatti, Maveripatti and Kammalapatti.

R. Thamaraiselvan, Member of Parliament, Dharmapuri, Mani, Executive Engineer (Irrigation), Anbalagan, Chairman, Harur Panchayat Union, Moyeesan, RDO, Harur among others participated.

From THE HINDU