Tamil Nadu: Farmers want rainfed ponds to be brought under Mathikettan ayacut

An official at the collectorate said the Tamil Nadu government allocated Rs 9.5 crore to strengthen the Mathikettan canal last month.

Published: 03rd December 2021 01:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2021 01:12 PM   |  A+A-

Farmers, Agriculture

Image used for representation (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

TENKASI: When the heavens open up, it helps spread a smile on the faces of the farmers of eastern parts the district, for they are fully dependent on the rains to replenish the ponds in their area. Ask them, they would say the authorities have been turning a blind eye to their decades-old demand to bring the rainfed ponds in the area under the ambit of Mathikettan ayacut.

President of Kuthapanchan panchayat, K Jayarani, said though the canal runs through the panchayat, ponds in Ootrupathukulam, Sathankulam, Azhagannerikulam, Vadakku Pettaikulam, Therku Pettaikulam, Nochikulam, Periyakulam, Onaiyankulam, Sankanerikulam and Attidachikulam were not brought under the ayacut area.

In her letter to the Chief Minister, Collector and Public Works Department (PWD) officials of Chittar basin division, Jayarani said if the ponds in her panchayat are brought under ayacut area, it would help irrigate more than 4,500 acres of farmland.

A farmer from Kalathimadam, K Ramalakshmanan, said when they are begging for water for their crops, the PWD officials, every year, are draining the excess water from Chittar into the sea via Thamirabarani. "The State government should intervene in the issue and should bring more ponds in the area under ayacut," he urged.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Executive Engineer of PWD, Chittar basin division, Sivakumar, said he had received representations from the farmers demanding water to various ponds. "Chittar basin division provides water to 466 ponds including 150 rainfed ones across Tenkasi and Tirunelveli districts. Apart from five per cent of ponds, the water has been given to all other ponds, thanks to the heavy rains this year. We will consider the farmers' demands. At the same time, we have to ensure that the water inflow to the bigger ayacut tanks located in Manur, Vallamadai and Gangaikondan are not affected," he added.

An official at the collectorate said the State government allocated Rs 9.5 crore to strengthen the Mathikettan canal last month. "We have received petitions from the farmers seeking water connectivity to their rainfed ponds. We are forwarding them to the departments concerned," he added.

Farmers dig 'their own' channel

The farmers in Alangulam Taluk brought excess water from Mathikettan canal to the rainfed ponds in the area by spending lakhs of rupees out of their own pockets. Sources said the farmers dug minor irrigation channels connecting Mathikettan canal and the rainfed ponds by using PVC and plastic pipes to suck the water out of the canal. "The canal that gets water from Chittar via Nagalkulam helps replenish several ponds located in Poolangulam and Andipatti panchayats and Alangulam town," they added.


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