VELLORE: Part of the bund of a 52-acre irrigation tank at Arungundram village in Wallajah taluk was breached on Wednesday morning with water gushing out of the tank from 4.30 am onwards, inundating around 100 acres of paddy, banana and turmeric crops downstream. Fortunately there are no dwelling houses in the vicinity, and thus lives have not been unduly affected. The water from the tank after inundating the crop lands found its way to fill up another nearby irrigation tank in Chitteri village.
The tank reached its fully 6 million cubic feet of capacity from the hills after a gap of 15 years, a couple of days back.
“While we were so happy that our tank got filled up, it was short-lived when the bund breached,” lamented farmer Somu. He said that the local MLAs, Mohamed Jon and Srinivasan made arrangements to arrest the breach with the help of sand bags. District collector Nanthagopal, nodal officer for disaster relief operations, D Sabita inspected the tank and held enquiries with the locals. They also issued an assurance that affected farmers would be compensated.
With some of the farmers voicing suspicion that the breach was an act of sabotage, following which the collector issued an order to the Wallajahpet taluk police to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. The tank continues to receive inflow from the nearby hills and officials have started the repair work and the strengthening of the bund.
In a statement, the Vellore SP, Senthilkumari has issued an advisory asking the people of the district to keep the nearest revenue officials informed about the levels in water-bodies. She cautioned the public not to go near water-bodies or make any attempt to open the sluices or divert canals. She warned that stern action will be taken against those who tamper with the water bodies.