1. Agriculture World

Farmers Demand Scheme to Transfer Cauvery Excess into Dharmapuri Lakes

Farmers hope the government will announce a scheme to divert water from the Cauvery to lakes and ponds in the district, on the lines of Cauvery Surplus Water Scheme (CSWS) being implemented in Salem.

Ayushi Raina
Farmers are hoping that the government would announce a scheme to divert water from the Cauvery to lakes and ponds in the district
Farmers are hoping that the government would announce a scheme to divert water from the Cauvery to lakes and ponds in the district

Will the Cauvery River flow into our fields? This is the question on the minds of farmers in the district as the state government prepares to propose its budget. 

Farmers are hoping that the government would announce a scheme to divert water from the Cauvery to lakes and ponds in the district, similar to the Cauvery Surplus Water Scheme (CSWS) that is now being implemented in Salem. 

For more than five years, every farmer association in the district, regardless of its political affiliation, has voiced the demand for the Cauvery Surplus Water Scheme. Despite the fact that the Cauvery enters Tamil Nadu through Biligundlu, the district does not benefit. Since agriculture has become unsustainable, people have started to migrate to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka in search of employment. 

"Our demand is to bring in a project to divert surplus water that would otherwise go waste to the sea," SA Chinnasamy, President of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam said. Every year, during South-West monsoon, several hundred TMC of water drains into the sea. Diversion of surplus waters to lakes in Dharmapuri would help recharge groundwater.” 

"We would need 30 TMC to sustain agriculture," Chinnasamy added. We are not seeking for a share in water allocated to Tamil Nadu by the Cauvery Water Management Authority; rather, we need extra water when the river experiences massive inflows." 

"I have been farming in Dharmapuri for the past two decades and the water demands are only increasing," said M Selvaraj, a farmer from Nallampalli. Due to a shortage of work in the district, many laborers have gone for low-wage positions outside. This is primarily owing to consecutive monsoon failures." 

M Prathapan, a member of the Agricultural Laborers Association, stated regarding water for industries, "The project will enhance water, which is also a critical resource for industries. Apart from a few cottage enterprises, Dharmapuri has no industry. SIPCOT was just opened, although there are no industries yet.

With enough water and time, we could have a slew of companies employing local youngsters and skilled laborers." 

K Bharat, a farmer, pointed out that during the election campaign, DMK President MK Stalin vowed to fulfill the promise, and Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam recently stated that efforts are underway. We are looking forward to the announcement,” he added. 

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