NAGERCOIL: The paddy farmers in Theroor in the district are yet to start rabi cultivation as two underground pipelines of an irrigation tank are getting clogged frequently, leading to water disruption. As a result, they said, they are not able to store enough water required for irrigating more than 1500 acres of agriculture land.
Theroor Tank Irrigation Water Users Association President K Chidambaram Pillai told TNIE apart from the clogged pipelines, the bund on the west side of tank is very weak as soil at some areas have eroded. "Due to this, the residents at the south side of the tank are opposing to store more water in the tank," he said.
Chidambaram said though the area received good rains, they were not able to store enough water for irrigation. "Our demand regarding minor bridges above the two existing pipelines, they have not been addressed so far. So we have decided not to cultivate paddy crops this season," he said.
Former Theroor Village Panchayat President Veeraputhra Pillai said as the water is not flowing from the west to east side of the tank, the area had seen floods five months ago. "Minor bridges are the only solution. Besides, it will also save the Theroor area from floods during heavy rains as water from the two tanks from upstream will come to Theroor tank," he said.
An engineer at Water Resources Department said a road is separating the west and east sides of Theroor tank. "As the district received heavy rains in the recent years, more
water had entered the tank, causing difficulty for the water to flow towards the east side. Since a road is separating the two sides of the tank, the highway department has to take a call," he said.
A senior engineer at highway department said they prepared an estimate for constructing minor bridges worth `2.30 crore at the two places on the road and sent to government. We are expecting administrative sanction for floating tender. Once the work is started we will complete it within six months. The forest department has also given its approval as the tank is a bird sanctuary," he said.
Meanwhile, an agriculture department official said Theroor farmers could start cultivating rabi crops with the water available in the tank . "The rains will continue, and there is enough water in the dams. We will meet the farmers on Thursday and will ask them to start the cultivation as the area is one of the big paddy hub in the district," he added.