Erode – Orathupalayam dam gets good inflow

ERODE: The Orathupalayam dam received over 14 ft of water from the Noyyal river under southwest monsoon. But the entire water is being drained into the Cauvery river instead of using it for irrigation, as the water from the Noyyal is filled with textile effluents from Tirupur textile units.

Erode - Orathupalayam-dam

Erode - Orathupalayam-dam

Though the dam was constructed in 1992 for irrigating over 10,000 acres in Erode and Karur, it was used by the farmers only for five years as it became a storage tank for textile effluents after that. The farmers, who depended on the dam and river for irrigation, stopped the farm activity in their land. Following many agitations and petitions in the High Court, the High Court, nearly 10 years ago, appointed a committee, led by retired PWD chief engineer Sivaraman, to deal with the issue.

Thus nearly three years back, the PWD, as per the HC order, spent over Rs 2 crore to renovate the dam, desilt the water spread area of the dam, dug a small canal to let the incoming water into the Cauvery river directly without storing it in the dam. But the problem still persisted. Though the PWD, last year, planned to store clean rain water in the dam to restart the farm activity in the area, the NW monsoon during the time resulted in the arrival of effluent water into the dam and hit the plan.

“Sivaraman Committee took many steps to stop discharge of effluents into Noyyal river and dam. But the present storage of effluents in the dam indicates that the problem is still persisting,” said a farmers’ association leader E R Kumarasamy adding that already, due to pollution problem, groundwater in many villages around the dam and river was hit and the villagers depend on water supply from other areas.

“As people suffered huge loss of revenue due to lack of agriculture activity, the HC asked the units to give suitable compensation to the farmers affected. But it was also not properly fixed due to some lapses in the survey work,” rued another leader Subbu.

When local MLA Vidiyal Sekar raked up the issue in the Assembly on Tuesday, the Chief Minister promised to ask the officials to distribute the aid in fair manner, he said.