Perambalur: Farmers fear crop damage as highways department dumps mounds of soil into Chitraru
In the coming spell of rains, this could adversely affect crop cultivation on nearby fields as the river - due to the mounds of soil - is prone to breach and inundate the fields.
Published: 11th November 2022 02:56 AM | Last Updated: 11th November 2022 02:56 AM | A+A A-
PERAMBALUR: The highways department, in recent times, drew both praise and flak from the residents of Perambalur: though the recent construction of a high-level bridge over the Chitraru river near Elumur-Murukkangudi road in Veppur - at a cost of Rs 1.10 crore - garnered appreciation, residents here blame the department for dumping soil excavated for bridge construction into the waterbody itself.
In the coming spell of rains, this could adversely affect crop cultivation on nearby fields as the river - due to the mounds of soil - is prone to breach and inundate the fields. The big lake in Elumur (flowing to about 800 acres) fills up the Chitraru river, the latter finally merging into Chinnaru river.
Most of the year, 75% of the big lake brims with water, and the waterbody is likely to reach its maximum capacity in the coming monsoon. This has raised concerns among residents of the river overflowing and affecting nearby crop cultivation.
Though a petition was submitted with the Highways Department, no action has been taken so far, residents rued. V Ravi, a farmer from Elumur, said, "We repeatedly requested the authorities to remove soil - piled up to 7 to 15 metres - off the river and instead use it to strengthen the banks. Though officials promised action, they are yet to take any.
There is a high chance of the river flowing unevenly in the coming rains, affecting cultivation to an extent of at least 100 acres." R Balachander, another resident, said, "Elumur lake will surely overflow in the coming rains, and it will be the first waterbody to fill up to its maximum in the district.
To avoid such a scenario, the authorities should intervene and take steps to remove soil and strengthen its banks." When contacted, an official from the Highways Department said, "We are aware of this issue. Action will be taken."