The good monsoon has resulted in copious flow in Palar River which enabled water flow through the channels that reaches Ammor and from there to Allikulam village from where it is diverted to Ozhugur and Sithathur villages. According to T Arun Kumar, Sholingur taluk secretary of the Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam, Ozhugur village is bigger (1,000 houses and 3,500 votes) compared to Sithathur village (100 houses and 380 votes) and the former village refused to divert water to Sithathur and instead ensured that water was supplied directly to the irrigation tank in their village. Asked about this, Arun Kumar said, “Ozhugur villagers are collectively involved in fish farming and they share the proceeds. Hence, they refused to allow water to Sithathur as they need water for fish farming.”
Saravanan of Sithathur village said, “the irrigation tank in our village has not received any water from the river and so if we fail to get water it can affect agriculture during the ensuing summer.”
“As we are lesser in numbers we fear to do anything against Ozhugur villagers as we might be at the receiving end in case things turn serious,” added Velumani, another Sithathur native. Complaints to the sub-collector resulted in the latter ordering action. “Though PWD officials diverted water using sand bags on Monday night, Ozhugur villagers removed the sand bags and ensured that water flowed to their village alone,” Arun Kumar added.
An initial peace committee called by the sub-collector resulted in Ozhugur villagers not turning up. When a second meeting was called, Ozhugur residents bluntly refused to divert water.
Hence, Sithathur villagers again appealed to the sub-collector, who said he would to the needful himself. However, the actions of Sholingur tahsildar who only gave excuses without doing anything concrete, affected the village, the residents said.