Project for restoration of water bodies to be over by August

Being implemented in Perambalur district with World Bank aid

PERAMBALUR: The Irrigated Agricultural Modernisation and Water Bodies Restoration and Management (IAMWARM) project now being implemented in Perambalur district with World Bank assistance will be completed by August this year.

Official sources told The Hindu on Saturday that as many as 33 tanks and nine anicuts were taken up for renovation in Perambalur district at a cost of Rs.5.36 crore under the IAMWARM project and 60 per cent work had so far been completed in the district.

The project in Perambalur district benefits a total ayacut of 3,006 hectares and about 48,000 metres length of tank bund will be strengthened and about 43,700 metres length of supply channels is being repaired. Nine sluices will be reconstructed and 16 weirs repaired.

The sources pointed out that the entire project was being implemented with the combined efforts of the water resources, agriculture, agricultural engineering, horticulture, agricultural marketing, animal husbandry and fisheries departments and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Rehabilitation of tanks, anicuts and supply channels, formation of water users association, introducing alternative crops, precision farming, micro irrigation system, drip and sprinkler irrigation, formation of farm ponds and growing fish, organic farming and system of rice intensification (SRI) method of paddy cultivation are the works being implemented under the project.


Chennai: Small waterbodies in southern suburbs remain neglected

Plastic, garden and kitchen waste dumped on them

The ‘malaikuttai’ in Zamin Raayapettai in Chromepet is a waterbody that presents a pathetic sight

TAMBARAM: It is not just the huge and sprawling lakes in the southern suburbs of Chennai that are crying for attention from the State government agencies and urban and rural local bodies.

IN NEED OF ATTENTION: Small waterbodies such as ‘malaikuttai’ in Zamin Raayapettai could contribute significantly to the water table if maintained properly.— Photo: A.Muralitharan

Even small waterbodies that could be of immense benefit in conserving precious rainwater have been completely ignored. In addition to the 300 lakes in Tambaram taluk, the southern suburbs are dotted with small tanks (‘kulam’) and ponds (‘kuttai’). While a few of them have been revived because of the intervention of environmentalists, most other small waterbodies of temples, those created in abandoned quarries and natural ponds nestled in the midst of residential localities remain neglected.

The ‘malaikuttai’ in Zamin Raayapettai in Chromepet, Pallavaram Municipality, for instance, is a waterbody that presents a pathetic sight. It has an expanse of less than one acre and residents said it was formed several years ago in an abandoned quarry site. The rocky surface ensured that perennial springs continuously fed the waterbody. Though it was not a direct source to draw water, it ensured that the water table in this part of Zamin Raayapettai was always maintained.

Today, a blanket of plastic, garden and kitchen waste, besides others forms of refuse, can be seen over the water surface. Even huge chunks of chopped-down trees have been dumped on the waterbody, making it a receptacle of filth.

Krishna Giri, a resident of Radha Nagar, complained that there was no positive response from the government agencies concerned. Citing reports and announcements that several hundred crore rupees were being spent on water supply improvement and cement concrete road-laying projects in the local bodies around Chennai, she wondered why a few lakh rupees could not be spent in protecting waterbodies such as the ‘malaikuttai.’

Pallavaram Municipal Chairman E.Karunanidhi said they were preparing a scheme for carrying out improvement works on the pond and they would begin by constructing a compound wall around it. There were also proposals to build a ground level service reservoir (underground sump) to store Palar drinking water when they expand the distribution system. However, a decision would be made later, Mr. Karunanidhi said, adding the municipal administration would protect the waterbody.


India: SC tells Tirupur’s dyeing industry to pay for polluting

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court has come down hard on industries polluting water bodies, applying the ‘polluters pay’ principle against 150-odd dyeing units in Tirupur’s garment export which had been discharging their waste in Noyyal river.

In an order that may be cited by green activists, the court asked the dyeing units at Karur and Tirupur, which cater to the huge forex earning garment export industry in Tamil Nadu, to pay for cleaning the River Noyyal and other water bodies massively polluted by discharge from their factories.

Agreeing with the stand of the Noyyal River Ayacutdars Protection Association, SC refused to take any lenient view of the environmental hazard resulting from the noxious effluent discharged by the factories adversely affecting the river, the Orthapalayam reservoir and other tanks and channels of the river.

The court noted that the industries have set up 17 common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) and were asked to pay up Rs 55.60 crore for eco-restoration and pollution check work. The Tirupur Dyeing Factories Association, as per a Madras High Court order, had paid up Rs 25 crore for this purpose. The SC said the rest of the amount had to be paid within three months.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice B S Chauhan said: “It is desirable that the members of the appellant association should ensure the compliance of the directions including the payment of the dues within three months.”

“They shall ensure that no pollution is caused to the river or dam and if cleaning operation has not yet been completed, it shall be completed within three months,” the Bench said.

It said: “Undoubtedly, there has been unabated pollution by the members of the appellant association. They cannot escape the responsibility to meet the expenses of reversing the ecological damage. They are bound to meet the expenses of removing the sludge from the river and also for cleaning the dam. The principles of `polluters pay’ and `precautionary principle’ have to be read with the doctrine of sustainable development.”

The court noted that Tirupur was an industrial hub providing employment to five lakh people in garment industries there, which earn around Rs 10,000 crore in foreign exchange annually for the country. 


Tamilnadu: Salem-New Lake remains dry despite heavy rain over past few weeks

Almost all channels that feed the water body are blocked with silt

SALEM: The New Lake, a major water spread in Kannankurichi area here, remains dry despite the city and its suburbs experiencing moderate to heavy rain for the past few weeks.

The reason: Almost all the channels that feed the lake – which has water spread area of over 100 acres – remain heavily silted.

The lake is an important water source for the farmers in the area.

No storage: The New Lake in Kannankurichi remains dry as the channels carrying water to the lake are full of silt. — Photo: P. Goutham

No storage: The New Lake in Kannankurichi remains dry as the channels carrying water to the lake are full of silt. — Photo: P. Goutham

It recharges hundreds of bore wells in and around the panchayat.

Ground water recharge

About 800 acres of lands are being irrigated through ground water recharge in the Kannankurichi panchayat alone.

“Earlier, the lake used to reach the full level and often surplus during heavy rains. Even after the district witnessed significant amount of rain, the lake has not received any water,” farmers point out.

The farmers had made repeated representations to the officials concerned to desilt the water-carrying channels. But no fruitful efforts had been made so far.


Farmers urged the State government to initiate immediate efforts to desilt the water-carrying channels and remove the encroachments on them.

Staff Reporter – From THE HINDU

Tamilnadu-Erode-Campaign to create awareness on pollution in water bodies

Students collect signatures from members of the public

ERODE: Students, about 25 of them, conducted a signature campaign at Erode bus stand to create awareness on pollution in water bodies.

The students, drawn mostly from government and municipality schools, went about gathering signatures from members of the public while talking to them about pollution to water bodies in the district and how it could be stopped.

Making a difference: Students participating in a signature campaign conducted at Erode bus stand to create awareness on pollution in water bodies on Tuesday. – Photo: M. Govarthan

Making a difference: Students participating in a signature campaign conducted at Erode bus stand to create awareness on pollution in water bodies on Tuesday. – Photo: M. Govarthan

Led by Cuckoo, an organisation run by nature enthusiast and activist K. Sivaraj, the students conducted the signature campaign as part of the three-day camp.

Mr. Sivaraj says it is important to involve students in such activities because it is necessary to bring impressionable minds face-to-face with reality.

“At such age where children possess better sensitivity than adults, it is important to expose them to such things, for when they grow to be adults it will impact their behaviour, attitude towards environment.”

He also says it is important to conduct such a programme in Erode because River Cauvery, Kalingarayan Canal and other major water bodies are polluted.

Cancer patients

“It is reported that the highest number of cancer patients are from Erode,” Mr. Sivaraj says and adds that majority of the affected are labourers.

“The poor work for about Rs. 200 a day in tanneries, dyeing and bleaching units and other polluting industries but pick up diseases and ailments with treatments worth lakhs of Rupees.”

As part of the three-day camp, the students witnessed photo exhibitions. On Wednesday they will trek the Sathyamangalam forest with nature enthusiasts.

At the signature campaign at the bus stand Dr. V. Jeevanantham of Tamil Nadu Green Movement also participated.