Madurai: Plan to retain water in temple tank

Cement bottom of four smaller tanks to be replaced with clay and sand

MADURAI: The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is considering experimenting with a new method to retain water in its Golden Lotus Tank.

The experiment contemplates replacing the cement bottom in the four smaller tanks of the Golden Lotus Tank with two feet of clay and one foot of sand and assess whether this would prevent seepage of water.

R. Padmanaban, Executive Officer of the temple and Joint Commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department, said here on Tuesday that this method would be used for the entire tank if the experiment turned out to be successful. Preliminary work for this experiment had already commenced, he said, adding that the results of the trial runs would be observed for a couple of months before contemplating replicating it. The temple would seek the support of private donors for this purpose. It was also prepared to execute the venture with its own funds, if necessary, he said. At present, the cement bottom of the tank is unable to prevent seepage of water. However, clay will be able to help retain water.

The Meenakshi Temple has also received a Rs. 40 lakh-proposal from the Madurai Corporation for filling up the tank with water.

Under this proposal, the civic body has assured providing three lakh litres of water every day. This proposal has been sent to the HR and CE Commissioner for approval. The temple and Madurai Corporation will equally share the total project cost of Rs. 40 lakh. While the Corporation will source the water from the Vaigai, the temple has been asked to bear the electricity charges for pumping the water. However, if the experiment were to succeed, the temple might need three lakh litres only once in 15 or 30 days thereby conserving water and expenditure, said Mr. Padmanaban.



Bereft of water

Barren: A farmer walking on the dry Sakkarakottai tank in Ramanathapuram. Photo: L. Balachandar


Dindigul: Tanks, supply channels need to be protected

DINDIGUL: Protection of rural tanks and supply channels is possible only with the help of community.

Rural people should not allow anyone to encroach water bodies and their supply channels in order to improve ground water sources and wipe out drinking water crisis in a phased manner, said Collector M. Vallalar.

Common cause:Collector M. Vallalar addressing a gram sabha meeting at Chettinaickenpatti near Dindigul on Saturday. — PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN

He was participating in the Gram Sabha meeting at Chettinaickenpatti near here on Saturday.

The district administration had started restoring damaged or destructed tanks in all unions and rehabilitating them through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Community participation was essential for successful implementation of this scheme, he added.

“People should protect the tanks and supply channels in each and every village. Encroachers should not be allowed to occupy tank area and channels.”

District administration had received proposals from Chettinaickenpatti village panchayat for the implementation of special drinking water project for the panchayat. Water will be drawn from Thadikombu to meet the growing drinking water needs, he added.

Enumeration of huts at the village had also been commenced. Persons living in huts would get financial assistance for construction of concrete houses under Kalaignar Housing Scheme, said the Collector.

The Gram Sabha approved several schemes to be taken under MGNREGS at this panchayat.


Identification of beneficiaries under Kalaignar Insurance Scheme was underway. After identifying the beneficiaries, funds will be released to them for construction of concrete houses, said Collector P. Muthuveeran.

He was taking part in a Gram Sabha meeting held at Anamalaiyanpatti near here on Saturday.

Development works at an estimated cost of Rs.20 lakh had been taken up this year.

A ration shop was opened and group houses were constructed for the poor. More facilities would be created for the economic uplift of the panchayat, he added.

The Gram Sabha discussed the implementation of various schemes, list of beneficiaries identified under various welfare schemes and other requirements and future plans of village panchayat. Gram Sabha was conducted at all village panchayats.


Bangalore: Govt plans new irrigation tanks in Krishna basin

BANGALORE: The government proposes to construct at least 500 new minor irrigation tanks in the River Krishna basin, Minister for Minor Irrigation Govind Karjol said on Friday.  

Speaking to reporters, he said that the envisaged number includes tanks and barrages. The department has appealed for a budgetary allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the same. The total cost estimate is about Rs 4,000 crore, he said.  

Of the Rs 57 crore that was allotted for the purpose in 2009-10, Rs 46 core had been released, he said. Karjol noted that there was no scope for construction of new tanks in the Cauvery basin as the state had exhausted its allocated share.  

Identification of tank bed encroachments and steps to clear them were on across the state and in the jurisdiction of urban local bodies like City Corporations, he said. The department has reiterated its stand that local bodies should take responsibility for its water bodies, Karjol said

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Tiruchi: Huge water tanks for villages in two blocks

TIRUCHI: The Government will take immediate action for solving the drinking water problem in the villages in Musiri and Mannachanallur blocks in Tiruchi district and high capacity overhead tanks would be built to provide drinking water in the water-starved villages in these blocks, said Forest Minister N. Selvaraj on Monday.

Reviewing the development works being carried out under various schemes in Musiri and Mannachanallur panchayat unions in the district at a meeting with Collector T. Soundiah and other district officials, the Minister said that he would bring to the notice of the Chief Minister about the drinking water problem faced by the people in Musiri and Mannachanallur blocks and take remedial measures to ensure quick and adequate drinking water to the villages.

Mr. Selvaraj pointed out that action would also be taken for converting the part-time fair price shops into full time shops and also for constructing high-level bridges in several parts of the unions. He asked the panchayat presidents to submit separate department wise petitions for carrying out development works so that it would be easy for him to take necessary action. The Minister said that Government’s free colour television sets were being given to eligible families and pointed out that about 40 lakh television sets had been purchased this year and would be provided to all the families in the villages.

Similarly, free domestic LPG gas stoves with connection will be given to all eligible families in a phased manner, he said.

Mr. Selvaraj pointed out that the recently launched Chief Minister Dr. Kalaignar’s health insurance scheme for life saving treatments had evoked good response and a large number of beneficiaries were getting treatment under the scheme for 51 types of ailments.

Collector T. Soundiah who presided over the meeting, said that quick action would be taken on the petitions submitted by the panchayat presidents to the Minister at the meeting and pointed out that steps would be taken to provide drinking water supply in the affected villages in Thottiyam, Musiri, Mannachanallur and Thuraiyur taluks.

Musiri Revenue Divisional Officer S. Meenakshisundaram, panchayat union chairperson Manonmani Thillaivasagam, and other officials attended the meeting.


Call to preserve water tanks in Kanyakumari

Nagercoil: A seminar on the status of tanks was convened here by environmentalists attached to various non-governmental organisations on Saturday.

Most of the tanks of Kanyakumari district were full of weeds which reduced their capacity and promoted evaporation of water resources of Kanyakumari district intended for irrigation and drinking water purposes.

Further, many tanks were encroached upon and land filled by real estate groups. The hills of the district were exploited for the sand which was dumped in to the tanks, paddy fields and wetlands, said former principal scientist, CMFRI, R.S.Lal Mohan.

Presiding over the seminar, he said that the tanks of Kanyakumari were located on a steep gradient which paved the way for the rain water to mingle with sea at a faster rate.

The constituted the natural rainwater harvesting system which made the district fertile. But due to the lack of understanding the geomorphology of the district, the tanks were allowed to be filled with aquatic vegetation belonging to various species of weeds like water hyacinth, ipomoea, grass, etc.

e tanks also recharge groundwater sources. Nowadays, the residents get drinking water once in five days in some places and once in 8 days in other areas. The district was unique in its ecology and wetlands and no unplanned developments should be allowed to turn the district into a desert, cautiond Mr. Mohan.

Environmentalist Jasmine Asir said that the water scarcity had a great impact on women. She stressed that the hardship of the rural women would increase manifold due to the land filling of the tanks and destruction of water resources.


Madurai: New irrigation tank formed near Peraiyur

MADURAI: Public Works Department has formed a new irrigation tank across the Ayyananarkoil Odai in Peraiyur taluk to provide assured irrigation for 725 acres of land in Mallapuram.

Collector N. Mathivanan has suggested to the officials to convert the Rs. 749.46-lakh project as a tourist spot with parks, seating arrangement and play equipment for children. After inspecting the tank, Mr. Mathivanan said that the tank, with a water spread area of around 15 hectares, had a storage capacity of 21.5 mcft. “So far, rainwater collected from (around 12 square km of catchment area) Western Ghats that flowed through the stream was used by farmers having lift irrigation facility. With this new tank, the irrigation will get stabilised and benefit 725 acres in Mallapuram,” he said. One yield of paddy would be ensured by the project, he added.

Stating that the greenery and surrounding mountains on three sides gave a perfect ambience for a tourist spot, he said that boating facility could be introduced as adequate storage would be available for at least six months in a year.

Gundar Basin Circle Executive Engineer S. Selvaraj said that groundwater table in the nearby wells had already been recharged. “Water level went up to nine metres (out of the maximum depth of 11 metres) in the recent rain. But, we released it, since it was the first storage since completion of construction,” he said.

Bund had been formed for a length of 1,025 metres with a weir to discharge flood flow of 4,347 cusecs. Two branch canals of 2,400 metres and 1,350 metres length and distributory canal of 1,300 metres had been constructed, Assistant Executive Engineer, M. Venkataraman, said.

Besides the tank work, the project envisages shifting of Ayyanar temple to five metres above the existing spot to prevent its submergence. Irrigation would begin from October.