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Noyyal river rejuvenation work in incomplete, say activists

The project aimed to rejuvenate 23 dams, 32 tanks, distribution channels and supply channels.

Published: 29th April 2022 08:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2022 08:20 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Volunteers working for environmental causes pointed out that the rejuvenation of the Noyyal river was not done properly despite it starting two years ago. They said most of the river basin was not desilted despite the PWD reporting that the major part of it was completed.

After a longstanding demand from all quarters, the government had allocated `230 crore for the rejuvenation work, including desilting, constructing check dams, strengthening the bund, repairing sluice gates and evicting encroachments across the river stretch in three phases—0-32 km, 32-75 km and 75-158.35 km in Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode and Karur.

The project aimed to rejuvenate 23 dams, 32 tanks, distribution channels and supply channels. Also, the PWD claimed that 36,304 acres of farmlands would also benefit from the rejuvenation project.

The fund was split up as Rs 175 crore for Coimbatore and `55 crore for Tiruppur, Erode and Karur districts.
S Thirunavukarasu, a retired engineer from the PWD said, “Even as the department claims that all works have been completed, one can easily notice even desilting work was not carried out in Perur Periyakulam, which is a pond on the river stretch.

Concerning the development of biodiversity in waterbodies, concrete slops should not be built on the sides of bunds in the name of strengthening them. Cobblestone should be placed as it would last for years and it will also help the ecosystem.”

He alleged that the concrete slops are also in poor quality. “The concrete slopes along the river basin have been damaged at many places due to a lesser quantity of blue metal mixed with cement. We had written a detailed report to the Chief Minister and officials concerned but there was no development,” he alleged.

R Manikandan, coordinator of Kovai Kulangal Pathukappu Amaippu, a city-based environmental organisation, said, “Besides improper desilting works, sluice gates in all the waterbodies were not restored. Further, they built bunds without doing land surveys. In Coimbatore, the work was planned in two phases but even a quarter of the work was not completed.”

Speaking to TNIE, an official from the water resources organisation of PWD said, “We have completed 100% of works in the first phase and 95% in the second phase. We have instructed contractors to complete it by May.”

However, the official refused to comment on the complaints made by environmentalists.



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