VELLORE: Incessant rain in the last three days following a deep depression that developed over the Bay of Bengal has come as a blessing in disguise for most in drought-hit Vellore district. The heavy downpour has raised water-levels in several Public Works Department’s (PWD) tanks and reservoirs, particularly Andiyappanur Dam, in the district. The district received a total rainfall of 169.44 mm between 8 am on November 9 to 8 am on November 11. On Tuesday alone, the district received an average rainfall of 119.38 mm.
Water flowed for a distance of four kilometres in the Palar River from Pallikonda following the overflow of Agaram River. The flood of water gushed into Palar on Monday night and reached Kanthaneri village on Wednesday. Hundreds of people converged on the bridge at Agaram to witness the water gushing into the riverbed. Amirthi falls and Jalagambarai falls have come alive after several years turning Vellore into another Courtallam with several members of the public flocking there.
The 112.20 million cubic feet (mcft) capacity Andiyappanur dam, one of the biggest reservoirs in the district, also received surplus water after five years which will irrigate 5,000 acres of land in Tirupattur block.
“The surplus water is being discharged from Tuesday with 991 cusecs and 266 cusecs of water released on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively,” said an official of the PWD.
“The district has a total of 519 tanks maintained by PWD,” he added. Of them, water levels in Kelmelkuppam Chitteri Tank and Ananthalai Illupanthangal Tank in Walajah, Peruvalayam Tank, Eralacheri Tank, Arakkonam Big Tank, Mulvoy Tank, Kavanur Chitteri Tank in Arakkonam, Bommikuppam Tank, Simanapudur Tank, Madapalli Tank, Kanamandur Tank in Tirupattur have risen to 100 per cent of their storage capacity, according to officials of PWD.
In addition, officials said that water levels in 30 tanks have reached over 75 percent of the total capacity, while the water levels rose to 50 percent in 52 tanks.
“We were waiting for such rain for several years. The farming community will be more excited, if the rain continues for few more days that will promise good water storage and also recharge the ground water level,” said Ramu, a farmer in Tirupatur area.
Farmer electrocuted; 15 cattle die
A 36-year-old farmer, A Ganaprakasam, of Villari village was electrocuted to death when he tried to switch on his motor pump on Wednesday morning. “As many as 15 livestock were killed in rain-related incidents, while 182 houses were damaged. Of them, 33 houses were irreparably damaged,” said an official in the district administration. He added that the surface level bridge near Melakuppam village was damaged in the rain.