Chorus grows louder for check dams across Palar river to conserve water

An activist said It’s a long-pending demand for raising a check dam at Ambalur because the groundwater level has gone down beyond 1500 feet owing to overexploitation of water for drinking purposes.
Water flows over a low-level bridge across the Palar river during the recent heavy rains
Water flows over a low-level bridge across the Palar river during the recent heavy rains

TIRUPATHUR: In the wake of the recent heavy downpour bringing copious flow into Palar river and its tributary Mannar river in Vaniyambadi and its surrounding places in Tirupathur district, the chorus for constructing check dams across Palar grows louder with environmental activists pressing for fulfilling the long pending demand.

A check dam is demanded at Ambalur in Vaniyambadi so as to hold back water and divert it through canals for irrigation, besides recharging groundwater table which has gone into unfathomable depths.

“It’s a long-pending demand for raising a check dam at Ambalur because the groundwater level has gone down beyond 1500 feet owing to overexploitation of water for drinking purposes in several parts of the district,” said ‘Ambalur’ A Asokan, an environmental activist.

The geographical location of Ambalur is ideal for the check dam because the water flows down from Pullur check dam in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh after meandering through Avarankuppam and Ramanaickenpet, he added.

The demand for constructing another check dam at Pachakuppam in Ambur across the Palar river has also gone unheeded to so far.

During the recent torrential showers, Palar witnessed the flow of water up to 14,000 cusecs.

Another environmental activist and vice-president of PMK’s State youth wing Kavitha Suresh suggests the construction of a check dam at Thakarakuppam in Mallakunda across the Palar river before it re-enters Andhra Pradesh.

“Palar river takes a U-turn at Mallakunda as it enters into Tamil Nadu before re-entering Andhra Pradesh and further flows down into our State. So, if we can construct a check dam at Thakarakuppam, we can store huge quantity and utilise for needs of Tirupathur,” she said.

“However,” she added, “We need to follow legal procedures to get the consent of the concerned bodies of the Centre before proceeding because Andhra Pradesh may try to obstruct the project.”

‘Palar’ AC Venkatesan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu All Farmers Associations’ Coordination Committee, wants the State government to pay immediate attention to the woes of the people depending upon Palar river as men at the helm of affairs had ignored the interests of the region.

“Northern Tamil Nadu has been suffering without adequate availability of water. Andhra Pradesh has blocked water in Palar by raising several check dams. So, our government should pay attention to the issue and take earnest steps to resolve them,” he said.

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