CUDDALORE: Chennai will get water from a new reservoir in times of distress, if the 950-acre lake in Cuddalore district becomes a reality. The new reservoir is coming up, mostly on lands owned by a few State government departments, near the Neyveli mines.Officials said the new lake, besides helping in conservation of water during floods — which the district witnessed at least twice in the last few years — is also expected to supply water to Chennai during seasons of acute water shortage.
Currently, Chennai gets water from Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district, besides four other major reservoirs on the outskirts of the city. However, farmers in the region were grumpy saying there was nothing for them in the project as the entire target was to supply water to Chennai.
The new reservoir near Neyveli is coming up in the lands near Vadakootthu village. Vadakootthu is located close to Neyveli Lignite Centre and runs along the Sengal Odai (a canal), through which the water from the mines was released to reach the Perumal lake. During monsoon rains, the Perumal tank often overflows due to water from the Neyveli mines and results in flooding of several villages around the Paravanaru and Perumal lakes.
Farmers in the region, however, said they have nothing much to cheer. “Except for the increase in groundwater, there is no benefit to farmers,” R K Ramalingam, executive member of the Uzhavar Mandram Federation of Kurinjipadi, told Express.
The project was conceived in the aftermath of the 2015 floods and the land proposed for the lake is currently owned by the Agriculture, Horticulture and Forest departments. Officials said the process of transferring them to the Revenue Department is on. Cuddalore Collector V P Thandapani told Express that works were on the right track for the lake project.