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Reports on river link by March

T. Ramakrishnan and P.V.V. Murthi

CHENNAI: Detailed reports on most of the components of the three proposed links of rivers in the State will be ready by March-end. This is part of the State Government’s programme of implementing three projects – linking the Cauvery with Agniyar, South Vellar, Pambar, Manimuthar, Vaigai and Gundar; linking Pennaiyar with Cheyyar and linking Tamiraparani with Karumeniyar and Nambiyar.

All the three links have been proposed taking into account the flood flows. Public Works Minister Durai Murugan told reporters in Vellore that “we should at least be able to link the rivers within Tamil Nadu to impound the surplus water going waste into the sea and take water from surplus areas to dry basins.”

The programme will benefit water-deficit areas of Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts.

Tanks in the basins of various rivers will also be filled. Totally, 10,630 acres will be required, of which the forest area accounts for 215 acres.

The first link (Cauvery-Gundar) has three components such as conversion of Kattalai Bed Regulator into a barrage, the Kattalai-Manimuthar stretch (length: 165 km) and the Manimuthar-Gundar stretch (90 km).

The report on the first component is ready and the estimated cost is Rs. 165 crore for converting the regulator into barrage. The report on the second component is likely to be ready by March and the report on the third (over 90 km) will be prepared by August. The reports for the second link (Pennaiyar-Cheyyar) and the third link (Tamiraparani-Karumeniyar and Nambiyar) will be ready next month.

On Thursday, A. Mohanakrishnan, chairman of the Cauvery Technical Cell, apprised Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi of the details of the projects at the Secretariat. Senior officials, including Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy and Public Works Secretary S. Audiseshiah were present.

The Kattalai barrage scheme will enable the creation of a small reservoir of 1.04 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) capacity.

According to an official document, a 255-km-long canal will be formed south of the Bed Regulator to carry the floodwater. In times of floods, the canal can carry 5.4 tmcft of water over 10 days in a year. The other two links (Pennaiyar-Cheyyar and Tamiraparani-Karumeniyar and Nambiyar) envisage the diversion of 1.8 tmcft and 2.5 tmcft annually. Their estimated cost is Rs. 500 crore.

Mr. Durai Murugan said he was planning to hold a meeting of Irrigation Ministers of riparian States.

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