Water level in Veeranam tank rising fast

Water level in the Veeranam tank is rising fast and likely to touch the maximum level of 47.5 ft soon. The news has brought cheer to farmers in the catchments, according to K.V. Elangeeran, president, Vettuvaikkal and Naraikkal Eri Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam. In a statement, he said the Vadavar, the feeding canal, was carrying about 2,000 cusecs of water to the tank.

Unlike the previous seasons, when it used to get Mettur water, the entire quantum now was the runoff of rainwater from catchments. It could provide adequate water for irrigation besides meeting drinking water needs of Chennai.


Cuddalore: Water level reduced

CUDDALORE: Water level in the Veeranam tank was reduced from 46.2 ft to 46 ft on Tuesday, anticipating more rain in catchment areas.

After inspecting the villages upstream, including Agaraputhur, Pa. Puthur, Sithamalli and Nattaramangalam on Tuesday, Collector P. Seetharaman told The Hindu that as of now, 600-700 cusecs of water was flowing into the tank.

To avert inundation of farmlands, 1,000 cusecs was being discharged through the Veeranam New Supply Sluice and the Pazh vaikkal. Meanwhile, water level in the tank has become a point of contention between officials and farmers.

The officials are of the opinion that storage should be kept at a comfortable level to ensure uninterrupted supply to Chennai.

K.V. Elangeeran, a farmer, said that heavy storage in the tank led to reverse flow of water that inundated standing paddy and groundnut crops on 5,000 acres in 15 villages.

An official team which visited the area on Monday, stated that there were proposals to construct a byewash, widen the bridge at Agaraputhur and desilt irrigation canals.


Cuddalore: Veeranam tank to be deepened

CUDDALORE: As a permanent flood control measure it has been proposed to deepen the Veeranam tank, according to P. Seetharaman, District Collector.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that owing to excessive flow in feeder canals such as the Vadavar, Sengal Odai and Pappa Odai, the Veeranam tank surplussed during the recent rain.

However, to maintain water level at the safe height of 46 ft (maximum 47.5 ft), there was heavy discharge from the tank which, in turn, inundated farmlands and habitations downstream, particularly in the Chidambaram and Kattumannarkoil blocks.

After inspecting the flooded areas along with District Revenue Officer R. Natarajan, Mr. Seetharaman directed the officials not to release water from the tank but for 77 cusecs for the Chennai Metrowater.

Following the suggestion of the Chief Engineer (Project formulation—water resources) of the Public Works Department, the Collector had formulated certain proposals to find a permanent solution to recurring floods.

These included setting up storage points on the course of uploading streams and letting out water into the tank only when required. Due to sand dunes and dense undergrowth, the actual water level in the tank was far below its stated level of 47.5 ft.

The silt to be obtained from deepening the tank could be utilised by ayacutdars. Mr. Seetharaman further said that heavy silt was the common problem at the tanks and lakes in the district.


Cuddalore: Veeranam lake brimming at 43.5 ft

CUDDALORE: With heavy rains lashing the northern districts, the water level in the Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district, a prime water source for Chennai, is brimming over. Anxious to protect the embankment and prevent vast acres of crops in the tail-end of the delta region going under sheets of water, officials have decided to maintain the water level in the lake at 43.5 feet as against its full capacity of 47.5 feet.

The water level in the lake as on Tuesday stood at 43.7 feet. The inflow was 1,000 cusecs while the outflow was maintained at 1,474 cusecs. Water supply to Chennai from the lake for drinking water needs resumed a month ago and on Tuesday 73 cusecs of water was released to Chennai.

With the discharge of water from the lake, the crops on about 10,000 acres in Kattumannarkoil and Chidambaram have been submerged. The officials were of the view that the heavy rains had not damaged the crops yet but admitted that if the spell continued for another two days, the situation could turn bad.

Paddy was raised in 90% of the tail-end delta regions. “The next 48 hours is very crucial for the farmers in these regions. If rain continues, the loss of crops will be enormous and if not, there are possibilities of stagnant water draining out quickly. Majority of the crops submerged were raised a month ago and damage would be less in these areas,” said Veeranam Pasana Vivasayeegal Sangam president KV Elankeeran.

But rains wrecked havoc to the betel leaves cultivated in about 3,000 to 5,000 acres of plantations near the lake including in places like Thiruchinnapuram, Nanthimangalam, Lalpettai and Elleri. “Betel leaves are water-intensive crops and are generally raised in regions near the lake. The crops raised in about 3,000 to 5,000 acres of land have submerged under water for the past one week and are completely damaged,” Elankeeran said.

Cuddalore collector P Seetharaman while briefing reporters said the district administration submitted a proposal for Rs 23 crore to the state government for strengthening the banks of Veeranam Lake.

Detailing the preparedness of the district administration in tackling the north-east monsoon, the collector said the project will be taken up shortly. The project includes de-silting 28 supply channels of the lake at a cost of Rs 12.56 crore renovating the existing shutters at a cost of Rs 1.26 crore and erecting new shutters at Rs 46 lakh.

He revealed that a new bridge at a cost of Rs four crore connecting Nanthimangalam and Poolanmedu in Kattumannarkoil taluk will be constructed, another new bridge at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore connecting Nanamedu and Uppalavadu and a new regulator at a cost of Rs six crore will be erected at VNS anicut.

“Crops cultivated in about 20,500 acres of land have been submerged under water, but the incessant rain has not damaged the crops,” he claimed.

Four persons and four cattle have been killed in rain-related accidents. Thirty-two houses were completely damaged and 135 houses partially damaged.



Cuddalore: New Veeranam project will avert flooding

CUDDALORE: The New Veeranam Project, estimated to cost Rs.23 crore, has been drafted to ensure the stability of the Veeranam tank and also to avert flooding in the ayacut areas, according to P.Seetharaman, District Collector.

Addressing a press conference here today on the preparedness of the administration to tackle the cyclone and flood situation in district the Collector said that the new project envisaged repairing and replacing of the damaged sluices, reinforcing the bunds, and, clearing the inlet and outlet channels of the outgrowths and other encroachments.

Based on deliberations with the stakeholders on the safety of the tank it had been decided to maintain the water level at 43.9 ft (maximum 47.5 ft). Therefore, the entire inflow of 3000 cusecs of water, realized through the Sengal Odai and the Karuvatti Odai, was being discharged.

However, to prevent flooding in the downstream the outflow through the Velliyangal Odai had been reduced from 500 cusecs to 250 cusecs to allay the fears of the ayacutdars about the possible inundation of the crops. Moreover, a portion of the excesses too was being drained in the Vellar.

A canal for a length of 5.5 km had been dug up to safely carry the water pumped out from the Neyveli Lignite Corporation mines. Earlier, the Paravanar fed by the water from the mines used to breach its course and inflict heavy damage to the standing crops.

The Collector also stated that of the 296 water sources in the district 198 were filled to the brim. In 50,000 hectares under samba crops the transplantation process was completed in 45,000 ha but if the rain continued the seedlings would perish. Water hyacinth choking the waterways in Chidambaram block were being removed.

According to a preliminary estimate about 57 villages in the district—21 in Cuddalore, 13 in Kattumannarkoil, 12 in Chidambaram, five in Vriddhachalam and three in Panruti– were facing the threat of inundation.

Cyclone shelters

Mr.Seetharaman observed that all the 21 cyclone shelters—13 in Chidambaram block and eight in Cuddalore block—had been kept in readiness to accommodate those who might get displaced by natural disasters.

A buffer stock of 818 tonnes of rice was kept ready (stored in at least 237 fair price shops in the vulnerable areas) to feed the people during exigency.

Rescue boats and fire service personnel had been on the alert to evict the people from the areas likely to be affected by flood.

An infantry battalion had been kept ready in the Secundarabad barracks and whenever warranted they would move in, the Collector added.


Chennai: Water levels dips in reservoirs

CHENNAI: While the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh Have been battered by rains and floods, Tamil Nadu has a different story to tell. The state hasn’t received enough rain this year and, in Chennai, an aggregate of the levels in the four reservoirs that supply water to the city shows that they are cumulatively down by 1,246 Million Cubic Feet (MCFT), compared to the same period last year. However, officials of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) state that there is sufficient water for the city till December and beyond.

The total capacity of the four reservoirs (Poondi, Red Hills, Cholavaram, Chembarambakkam) that supply water to the city is 11,057 MCFT. Against this, the current levels account for 2,731 MCFT, 1,246 MCFT less than last year’s 3,977 MCFT.

While in Poondi, the total capacity is 3,231 MCFT, the storage position on Tuesday indicated 797 MCFT. In Cholavaram, storage was 188 MCFT, as against the total capacity of 881 MCFT. In Red Hills, against the total storage capacity of 3,300 MCFT, the water level was 1,294 MCFT. In Chembarambakkam, the water level recorded was 452 MCFT; the total capacity is 3,645 MCFT.

The total rainfall recorded in Poondi, Red Hills and Cholavaram this year so far is 404 mm, the highest being 146 mm in August 2009. “The main reason for the decline in storage levels is the delay in getting supply from the Veeranam Lake and water from the Krishna. Lack of sufficient rainfall also adds to the problem,” said a senior Metrowater official.

CMWSSB did not receive Veeranam water supply between May and August this year. Later, once water began flowing in, CMWSSB began drawing 180 Million Litres Per Day (MLD) from Veeranam and supplying to the city. Krishna water, supposed to reach Tamil Nadu in July, was delayed and arrived only in September. Currently, 800 MCFT is flowing into Poondi.

“Some weeks ago, the storage position in Poondi was only 5% of its total capacity. Ever since the Krishna water started arriving, it increased to 25%. The level in Poondi is increasing with continuous supply. Once the storage level increases, we will release the water into the Chembarambakkam reservoir, then into Red Hills and later for city supply,” said the official.

The official said that with the northeast monsoon expected soon, the water position would be better. “With the current position we can manage till December and beyond. There will not be any shortage of water,” said the official.


Veeranam tank goes dry

Special Correspondent

Deficit rainfall has affected swarnavari, kuruvai crops in Cuddalore district

Veeranam tank goes dry — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Veeranam tank goes dry — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

BLEAK SIGHT: The Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district, which is totally dry.

CUDDALORE: Deficit rainfall and poor or nil storage in tanks have affected swarnavari and kuruvai crops in Cuddalore district.

Only those who have installed lift irrigation facility have managed to raise crops with lower than normal yields, sources said. The Veeranam tank, with an ayacut area of 48,000 acres, has gone dry. The tank went dry earlier in 2002.

The delay in release of water from the Mettur dam and truant monsoon have created a drought-like situation.

According to sources, it takes about 10 days for water from the Mettur dam to reach the Kallanai. Ten per cent of the water realised at the Kallanai would be let into the Keelanai, from where the Vadavar would carry water to the Veeranam tank.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had announced that Mettur water would be released on August 7. Therefore, rejuvenation of the Veeranam tank would be possible only by August-end, the sources said.

Tapping of 75 million litres a day of water from the tank at the Boothangudi point for Chennai stopped on July 1. Official sources told The Hindu that with absolutely no inflow, the tank, with a maximum storage of 47.5 feet, had gone dry.

At present, the water level in the Wallajah tank stood at 4.5 feet against the full height of 5.5 feet and the level at Perumal eri stood at 0.5 ft against 6.5 ft. The sources said that for want of water supply, the paddy farmers could not meet the target set. Swarnavari crop could be raised only on 6,410 ha against a target of 10,000 ha and kuruvai pady on 3,600 ha against a target of 8,000 ha.

According to K. Vijayakumar, a progressive farmer, only those with lift irrigation facility could raise 10 per cent of the normal crop size. The delayed water release from the Stanley Reservoir would have cascading effect even beyond the kuruvai and samba seasons.

After the samba season, the farmers usually go for black gram cultivation. But, the delayed water release would extend the samba season, thus making it impossible to raise black gram.

I. Elangeeran of the Naraikkal-Vettuvaikkal Paasana Vivasayigal Sangham said that the lean period was the ideal time for desilting or deepening the Veeranam tank. However, even Rs. 2 crore allotted for desilting various canals such as the South Rajan vaikkal and the North Rajan vaikkal had not been utilised.

By The Hindu Paper