CHENNAI: Directing the State government to expedite desilting of the Srivaikundam dam in Thoothukudi district, the National Green Tribunal on Thursday asked the government to submit within 15 days the status report on the work. The bench, headed by P Jothimani and R Rajendran, has also allowed the petitioner S Joel to monitor and report on the same.
Appearing for the State, senior counsel Abdul Saleem submitted that the government would be floating tenders on July 24 to award work contracts in an attempt to expedite the desilting process.
Further, he informed the Tribunal that the State government was discussing ways to effectively use the silt from the dam.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who appeared for the petitioner, stressed the need to resolve the issue quickly.
“Desilting work is being carried out at a snail’s pace. On the first day, fifty men and two earth movers were used. As days passed by, the number kept decreasing and now there are very few men at the site with four poclain machines desilting the dam which irrigates 25,000 acres of land,” he charged.
The 150-year-old dam is the last reservoir built on the Tamirabarani river and is the main source of water for farmers in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts.