TN to restore water bodies for recharging groundwater level

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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 ponds and minor irrigation sources across the state but only 90,000 were in use.

This, according to the 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 department revealed.

The department will restore 83 ponds in Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Tiruppur, and Virudhunagar. The cost, according to the department sources would be around Rs 44 crore.

The department sources told IANS that the restoration of these 83 ponds would irrigate 14,462 acres of land.

The sources said that of the total expenditure planned by the department, 60 per cent 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. The 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 removal of encroachments.

The sources also said that by maintaining and restoring the 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.

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