Chennai, Jan 26 (BPNS)
The Tamil Nadu Water Resources department is planning to restore, repair, and renovate water bodies across the state to increase the storage capacity and groundwater levels.
The Water Resources Department (WRD) is taking this forward with the support and assistance of the Central Water Resources Department and Groundwater department.
A recent study carried out by the Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department has found that there were 2 lakh tanks and minor irrigation sources across the state but only 90,000 were in use.
This, according to the water resources department was mainly due to land encroachments, fillings, poor maintenance, and illegal use of land for construction. This has led to the loss of lakhs of hectares with irrigation potential, the inhouse study conducted by the Water Resources Department revealed.
The department will restore 83 tanks in Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Tiruppur, and Virudhunagar. The cost, according to WRD sources would be around 44 crores.
The Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department sources told IANS that the restoration of these 83 tanks would lead to benefits for 14,462 acres of land.
Sources in the Water Resources Department said that of the total expenditure of 44 crores planned by the department, 60 percent will be borne by the Central government and the balance by the state government.
However, the daunting task facing the department is evicting the encroachers who are being supported politically. Madras High Court has already given a directive to the department to evict all encroachers, revenue officials are facing the heat with political leadership trying to influence against the encroachments.
Sources in the department also said that by maintaining and restoring the water tanks and other water bodies, there would be considerable improvement in the groundwater recharging as presently most of the water is flowing into the sea and being lost.