THANJAVUR: The Thanjavur MP and former Union minister S.S. Palanimanickam has appealed to the Public Works Department (PWD) to step up water released into Grand Anicut (GA) canal by another 1,000 cusecs so that water may reach tail-end areas.
He visited Kalvirayanpettai near Thanjavur, where a breach occurred in the southern bank of Grand Anicut canal on July 26 last year and saw the retaining wall built at the place. He told presspersons that at present 1,500 cusecs of water is released into GA canal.
"It should be increased to 2,500 cusecs step-by-step, say 500 cusecs each, so that water could reach tail-end areas for cultivation. People of Pattukottai, Orathanadu and Peravurani are dependent upon paddy cultivation only this year as Gaja cyclone has wrought havoc and uprooted nearly 40 lakh coconut trees. If they don't get water, they can't raise paddy. Moreover, height of the retaining wall at Kalvirayanpettai should be increased by another two-ft to prevent breaches again. The wall is so small that when more water is released it may overflow and cause another breach in the same place" said Palanimanickam.
He said that inflow into Mettur dam at 8 am on Saturday was 17,000 cusecs. Now only 10,000 cusecs of water is discharged from the dam. Instead, entire 17,000 cusecs could be discharged and quantum of water released into Cauvery, Vennar and GA canal can be increased. The level at Mettur dam stood at 117-ft against 120 ft. If the level reached 120 ft, necessarily more water has to be taken. It can be done now itself. They are releasing 3,004 cusecs into Kollidam. We are not objecting to it. But quantum of water released in other rivers also should be also increased, he said.
He took strong objection to scheme envisaged by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to utilise what he (CM) called surplus waters from Mettur dam. There is no surplus water as entire water is required for cultivation in delta. The PMK president Dr S. Ramadoss also supported this scheme. This should be stopped as it will deprive water for delta when implemented, Palanimanickam said.
Durai Chandrasekaran, Thiruvaiyaru MLA, and Murali, Thanjavur west union secretary of DMK, accompanied the former minister during his visit.
Water level at Mettur dam stood at 117.29-ft at 4 pm on Saturday. The storage was 89.214 tmcft. Inflow into the dam has decreased to 10,380 cusecs from 17,000 cusecs in the morning. Discharge from the dam was 10,000 cusecs. Discharge into Cauvery from Grand Anicut is 1,460 cusecs, into Vennar 1,701 cusecs, into GA canal 1,764 cusecs and into Kollidam 3,004 cusecs.