Digging of percolation pits on irrigation channels in Tiruvarur district has annoyed farmers who are already bogged down by the problem of inadequate supply of water for irrigation through `C’ and `D’ irrigation channels.
Complaints of water not reaching the tail-end areas surfaced during the last crop season despite the claims made by the Public Works Department that smooth passage of water for irrigation to tail-end areas had been achieved.
However, the issue did not snowball into a crisis thanks to the timely and adequate quantity of showers the district received during the last season.
Against this backdrop, the present move to create percolation pits on irrigation channels in interior places under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been resented by the farmers.
Claiming that creation of such groundwater recharging facilities on the irrigation channels in interior areas would definitely impede the flow of water to ayacuts, general secretary, Federation of Farmers Association of Delta Districts, Arupathi P. Kalyanam, urged the officials to concentrate on ensuring adequate water supply for surface water irrigated areas.
The existing problems such as `A’ channels not remaining at the sill level of the primary irrigation channels – the Cauvery and Vennar, and clogging of `A’ channels branching off from rivers near major towns should be addressed first, he added.
Stating that the current exercise would not serve any purpose, the State Joint Secretary, Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, P.S. Masilamani and the General Secretary, Thamizhaga Cauvery Farmers Association, P.R. Pandian suggested that such pits with 2 to 3 feet could be dug on the drainage channels.
The argument that such pits would help recharge the groundwater table would not hold waters because such small depth pits would get filled up with sand once water flows through the channels, they claimed.
Meanwhile, the Collector, T.Anand inspected the MGNREGS job work of creating small percolation pits on the Edaiyanji irrigation channel passing through agriculture fields at Sellur village panchayat in Koradachery Panchayat Union at a cost of ₹5.95 lakh, on Saturday.
He had also inspected various other works taken up under the 100-days job scheme and under the special desilting scheme at Koradachery and Needamangalam PUs.
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