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Right bund of Mohanur Channel sees new lease of life

By L. Renganathan

NAMAKKAL, AUG. 7 . In an effort that went to show that self-help is the best, ayacut farmers took up the task of strengthening the right bund of the Mohanur Channel. Members of the Mohanur Agriculturists Welfare Association (MAWA) and the Mohanur Channel Ayacutdars Association (MCAA) in Namakkal district took up the labour work under the food-for-work scheme as part of the Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana.

'Widened enough'

Due to the work done by the farmers of the area, the bund has seen a new lease of life. "Before the jungle clearance on the bund was taken up, there was hardly any space for even walking.

We had to endure great difficulty in accessing our fields that were just half-a-kilometre from the main road. But now, the bund has been widened enough to allow passage of even lorries," says P. Arumugam, a farmer-cum-advocate.

Manual work

The association members, all farmers served by the Mohanur Channel, have completed the work of manually clearing the wild growth and laying earthen road, in two stretches of one km each at Manapalli and Sankarampalayam this year.

The Mohanur Channel, branching off the Cauvery off Nanjai Edayar, runs up to Vadugapatti, a distance of 21 km. The Channel commands an ayacut of over 2,900 acres falling in areas such as Mohanur, Palappatti and Oruvandur, and where banana, sugarcane, betel vine, paddy and korai (reed grass) are raised.

The farmersapproached the district administration, which included it in the drought relief works. This year, Rs. 25.35 lakhs has been sanctioned for strengthening 5.25 km section of the bund. That included Rs. 6,78,365 as cash component and 328.56 tonnes of rice.

`Immense benefit'

"That the landowners of the adjacent fields voluntarily removed encroaching crops such as banana, betel vine, sugar cane, trees and structures such as pumpset huts, is proof enough of the immense benefit our work has conferred on the farmer beneficiaries," says the MAWA secretary, G. Ajeethan. "Our endeavour would serve a better purpose if inspired farmers in other areas stepped forward to undertake such works and complete them to their satisfaction," the MAWA president, M.N.A. Sundararaju, and the MCAA president, K.C. Ramasamy Gounder say.

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