CHENNAI: With the emphasis more on restoring the water bodies, lakes and even reservoirs, the Kudimaramathu scheme, has revolutionised the manner in which the AIADMK government took up the initiative to conserve water resources in the State. Spending close to Rs. 1,000 crore in restoring the water bodies spread across Tamil Nadu including the Mettur Dam, the lifeline of Cauvery delta farmers, is no mean achievement.
And as Tamil Nadu steps into an election year in 2021, AIADMK's Co-Coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami will have something concrete to woo the rural voters.
"This scheme involves the local farmers and common people too in cleaning up the lakes and tanks and even makes them feel responsible for the upkeep of the water bodies in their villages.
Moreover, the Kudimaramathu scheme is far more transparent than a tender floated to execute the work," Mr. Palaniswami had once said.
This Chief Minister from Western Tamil Nadu was also instrumental in banning illegal sand mining and ensured online tender process for sale of sand for construction activity. He is probably the first CM to take up the desilting of major tanks and lakes across the State and facilitated the completion of 4,965 works at a cost of Rs. 930.25 crore, so far.
About 2,919 waterbodies have been fully restored from 2016 till 2018 Desilting of 1,519 lakes were taken up since 2016-17 fiscal, and of them work on 1,513 lakes has been completed. Work on the remaining six could not be carried out due to internal problems of the farmers' associations there. In 2017-18, out of 1,511 lakes chosen for desilting, 1,406 have been cleaned so far. The remaining lakes have not been desilted owing to problems in the farmers' associations.
For 2019-2020, around Rs. 500 crore was allocated for rejuvenating 1,829 water bodies.