M. Balaji, Additional Secretary and Special Officer, delta irrigation, visited Mukkombu on Wednesday to take stock of water supply to delta areas for paddy cultivation amidst complaints over insufficient water supply to tail-end areas.
It was his second visit to Mukkombu, where restoration work was on following collapse of a portion of regulator across the Kollidam in August, since he was appointed by the State government to monitor water supply for irrigation in the delta region.
Mr. Balaji inspected the progress of work to reduce water seepage through the bund of stone boulders in the Kollidam. He checked whether the ring bund supported by boulders and sand bags was strong enough to withstand the water current in the event of heavy flow in the Cauvery and the north-east monsoon, which is just a few weeks away.
He held discussion with B. Ravichandran, Superintending Engineer, PWD Water Resources Department, Tiruchi, T.P. Ganesan, Executive Engineer, PWD River Conservation Division, and senior officials. They explained him the steps taken to strengthen bunds. They reportedly told Mr. Balaji that there would not be any problem even if the Cauvery carried close to one lakh cusecs of water. They said that water seepage through boulders had been contained to less than 5 % of total flow in the Cauvery.
Meanwhile, various leaders including Ayilai Sivasuriyan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vyvasayigal Sangam, Puliyur S. Nagarajan, president, farmers’ wing, Tamil Maanila Congress met Mr. Balaji and presented petitions. He spent more than half an hour with them to listen to their grievances on supply of water for irrigation in delta areas.
Mr. Sivasuriyan said that growth of bushes, improper maintenance of inlet and outlet channels had hampered supply of water for irrigation in tail-end areas. An established system of desilting of waterways and regular repair and maintenance of water regulatory infrastructure should be in place. Kudimaramathu works should be implemented through the farmers’ representatives.
Mr. Nagarajan said that crops raised on several acres of land in tail-end areas of Kattalai High Level Canal were badly in need of water. There was an insufficient water supply to fields in Thayanur, Sunnambukaranpatti, Allithurai, Pallakkadu, Ettarai and other villages.
Later, Mr. Balaji visited various tail-end areas including Orathanadu and Pattukottai panchayat unions in Thanjavur district and checked whether water was being supplied for standing paddy crop.
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