VELLORE: After eight years of remaining dry, adequate rains for the past few days has resulted in the Kallaru River near Arakkonam brimming and flowing again bringing cheer especially to those living in the town of Arakkonam. This will sustain groundwater levels for the next few years alleviating drinking-water problems, according to officials.
The River last saw some surface-flow in the year 2007 when the region last received copious rains. In the years after, with little or no rains, water in the river had dried up leading to a shortage in water supply.
The Arakkonam town municipality had sunk ten borewells to augment water supply but with no results. The town’s residents were pinning their hopes on the Integrated Cauvery drinking water project underway. However, incessant rainfall for the past few days has solved the immediate needs of the residents for water.
A delighted Arakkonam MLA, S Ravi, said that Arakkonam and nearby villages will not have drinking water scarcity for the next two years. This will encourage an increase in farming operations for the samba season, he added. Incessant rain has also brought copious water from the Melarasampattu, Alleri hills into Agaram and Peryaru which are tributaries of Palar reviving hope that water levels in several tanks will rise.
Anaikattu MLA, M Kalaiarasu, said that with the help of farmers and villagers he was able to divert the river water to as many as seven tanks in the vicinity including Saduperi near Vellore. He also alerted officials to strengthen the bunds of the tanks to ensure all water is saved and stored.
Water level in the Paperi, a 200 acre tank in Melakuppam hills village, that has been dry for the past 20 years also rose considerably as it received water from the second layer of hills. This would recharge underground water levels in over 10 villages in the hills hopefully increasing agricultural activity.
Rains have not been all good news for all as between November 9 and November 13 district rains have taken the lives of three persons, 15 animals and have partly or fully damaged 335 houses and 134 hutments. Over 4,700 acres of banana crops, 30 acres of paddy have also been damaged. A statement released by the district administration said that a cash relief of `4,100 for partly damaged houses and `5,000 for fully damaged houses along with 10 kg of rice, a set of dhoti and saree, one litre of kerosene were distributed to 469 families adversely affected by the rains.