The tail-end farmers from the Cauvery Delta region on Friday welcomed the announcement of the renovation of Kallanai Canal (Puthu Aaru) with an allocation of Rs 300 crore in the budget. They said it would irrigate an area of 2.21 lakh in the region and claimed that the fund is inadequate.
Since these tanks were not maintained properly, the canal which is supposed to carry 4,200 cusecs of water, has left with 2,500 cusecs of water and the banks are so weak as it would breech when water flow increases beyond this. This, prevented water reaching into the tail-end regions and so the farmers were under much difficulty to take up cultivation.
The farmers in the region have been demanding the state government to renovate the Kallanai canal in such a way that it would carry its full capacity of 4,200 cusecs and the state government appealed for the fund from the Centre. Subsequently, K Satyagopal, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Tamil Nadu Water Resources Conservation and Rivers Restoration Corporation, conducted inspection from the Kallanai canal head to the Maharaja Samuthram drain and a project report was sent.
In such a backdrop, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister O Panneerselvam had announced the renovation works of the Kallanai canal to the tune of Rs 2,298 crore funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank out of which a fund of Rs 300 crore has been allocated for the Phase I works.
The tail-end farmers who welcomed the allocation of fund urged to increase the fund and commence the works at the earliest.
“The Kallanai canal irrigates both Thanjavur and Pudukkottai districts but the banks are so weak as it would breech if the water capacity increases beyond 2,500 cusecs. But the actual capacity is 4,200 cusecs. The entire renovation works needed Rs 2,300 crore, but the allocation is just Rs 300 which is certainly inadequate,” claimed V Veerasenan, president, Nasuvini Riverbed Dam Farmers Development Association.
Veerasenan also demanded the AIADMK MLAs of Aranthangi, Peravurasi and Pattukkottai meet the Chief Minister at once and demand to increase fund for the renovation on this year itself.