CHENNAI: With most of the water bodies in Tamil Nadu not reaching their full capacity even during the monsoon season, farmers have demanded the state government to conduct annual desilting to increase storage.
R. Ilangovan and P S. Selvaraj of the Cauvery Delta farmers association, told IANS: "Most of the water bodies in the state have not reached their full capacity even during the heavy rains as desilting is not being done. Anothe major issue is the removal of illegal encroachments on water bodies and government must use a iron hand to remove such encroachments ".
Farmers have also demanded the construction of more check dams to control water flow and conserve soil.
They also suggested the building of more pumping stations along with canals and pipelines to transport this water during droughts.
Krishanswamy.G, a farmer based out of Tiruchi, told IANS: "The (state) government must upgrade existing reservoirs, tanks and small ponds across the state to develop water storage facilities ."
The ruling DMK had in its election manifesto had announced construction of 1,000 check dams and barrages across Tamil Nadu in the next 10 years to recharge ground water.
A senior official of the state Water Resources Department told IANS: "We have commenced construction of check dams as promised by the Chief Minister. However we need more funds for this and have submitted a proposal to the government."