PERAMBALUR: Setting off cheer among the public, particularly farmers, all the 73 lakes under the Public Works Department (PWD) in the district are brimming after a gap of nearly 35 years, courtesy the copious monsoon rains.
As the public celebrated the moment with flowers and throwing a feast, farmers said the brimming waterbodies would increase the groundwater level and improve agriculture.
Perambalur PWD Assistant Executive Engineer V Velmurugan told TNIE, “A total of 65 lakes last filled up 16 years ago. Only some did not fill up then. But this year all the lakes are overflowing as it rained in excess. Some of the sluice gates in these waterbodies are faulty. However, we regulated the faulty ones and stored water. We will fix them after the lake dries up after the rainy season. Currently, we need to store water and save lakes. We did it.”
“We filled up and monitored each of the lakes. We believe that the capacity of the lakes is not likely to decrease as people continue to extract alluvial soil from them. We have ensured that the bunds of the waterbodies are strong,” he added.
S Ragavan, an activist from Perambalur, said, “The lakes filled up after so many years due to the comparatively heavy rain spells this year. This is welcomed.
However, the seemai karuvelam trees have not been removed in many lakes and the bunds and sluices have been damaged, especially in villages like Keezhumathur, Naranamangalam, Pennakonam, and Vayalur. The authorities should deepen and restore the lakes and its canals, and its faulty sluice gates after the rainy season.”
Further, he said that the district administration must issue permits to farmers every year to excavate soil from the lakes. The process to avail of the permit should also be simplified, he added. Authorities should undertake kudimaramathu works in the lakes before the next rainy season, he further said.