Stakeholders of Kousika river, a tributary of river Noyyal, are not happy with the allotment of Rs 1, 516 crore for the Avinashi-Athikadavu Groundwater Recharge Scheme (AAGRS) by the Chief Minister. Secretary of Athikadavu Kousika Nadhi Development Association PK Selvaraj lamented that Coimbatore will not be benefited by the scheme.
However, stakeholders of Avinashi-Athikadavu Groundwater Recharge Scheme are in a celebration mode with the allotment of funds for the project after six decades.
The Chief Minister said that water will be pumped from Kalingarayan Canal in Erode district to realise the dream project to benefit the drinking water as well as irrigation needs of Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode districts.
“We are happy that Perundurai has been newly added to the scheme as the people there will be benefited. But Mettupalayam, Karamadai and Periyanaickenpalayam Taluks and around 30 per cent of Annur Taluk in Coimbatore District have been excluded,” said Selvaraj after discussing the project in detail with the PWD officials, last week.
All they have sought is pumping water from Athikadavu near Pillur Dam to Karuvalur (about 35 km) in Kousika River from where the river in its natural course can fill waterbodies on its way. This in addition to water pumped from Kalingarayan Canal will optimise flow of water and will ensure that it reached waterbodies in the tail end.
Stakeholders of Kousika River had discussed this project with MLA candidates of various political parties during the 2016 Assembly Elections and also met Edappadi K Palaniswami at his office, earlier this year.
“The CM had said that possibility of the inclusion will be studied. Recently PWD officials conducted a study and submitted a favourable report to the government,” Selvaraj further added.
At this juncture, he said that the announcement for the scheme without including Kousika River has upset stakeholders of this river. Stating that the Center has announced Sulur, Annur and the Kousika River check dam areas as drought prone, farmers and villagers of these areas fear that their regions would turn into deserts without inclusion in AAGRS.