More than 500 farmers besieged the Kodiveri dam in Erode district on Wednesday in protest against the implementation of the Kodiveri Combined Drinking Water Scheme.
The farmers then sought to implement the project by drawing water from lower Bhavani, and not from the upper regions as was proposed.
As was announced, over 500 farmers on Wednesday assembled at the Kodiveri dam around 10.30 in the morning and raised slogans against the drinking water project. Tense moments prevailed as the agitated ryots broke into a quarrel with the police personnel.
The irate farmers said that water released from Bhavanisagar dam in Erode district gets stored in Kodiveri dam. From there, the water flows through the Thadapalli and Arakkankottai canals for about 62 kilometres to irrigate around 25,000 acres of farmlands.
“Already several lakh litres of water were extracted from the Bhavanisagar dam, and drawing two crore litres additionally through the Kodiveri Combined Drinking Water Scheme will completely affect farming activities,” rued the farmers.
Besides, the protesting crowd lamented that rampant water theft in a stretch of around 30 kilometers from Bhavanisagar dam to Kodiveri has gone unchecked. The farmers threatened to intensify their agitation if the government goes ahead with the implementation of the project.
The agitated farmers later withdrew the protest after Revenue Divisional Officer Senthil Kumar assured that a committee will be formed to examine the concerns raised by the farmers. The project will be carried out only after allaying the fears of farmers, he had said.