COIMBATORE: Farmers alleged that a water channel which feeds Chettipalayam Periyakuttai has been partially encroached by individuals on Sunday to create a path for their land.
Fifteen feet of the 20-ft channel has been converted into a road, which has blocked water flow to the lake, they said and alleged that local body officials were hand in glove with the encroachers. Chettipalayam Periyakuttai receives water from Kadukuttai (pond) five km away.
R Ganesan, a farmer in Chettipalayam, said, "Though we do not get water directly from Periyakuttai for irrigation, it help us indirectly by recharging ground water. The 18-acre pond has water throughout the year after we desilted the channel from Kadukuttai spending `16 lakh in 2015. The water holding capacity has also increased to eight feet. The encroachment has cut off water flow completely."
P Padmanapan, another farmer, said, "To improve water flow to Periyakuttai, the PWD started discharging treated water from Noyyal river to Kadukuttai through the channel at a cost of `4.5 crore. We were informed that 90% of the work has been completed. Meanwhile, destruction of water channel for a length of 300 metres by the individuals has destroyed the purpose of the scheme."
S Jagatheesh, Executive Officer of Chettipalayam Town Panchayat, said, "The individuals had no access to their land, and so built a road themselves. We did not involve or support anywhere. The PWD will remove it soon."
Madukkarai tahsildar Farzana said a complaint has been received from farmers and added that the road would be removed.