The rejuvenation of waterbodies, taken up by the district administration exactly a year ago by involving government departments, non-governmental organisations and the public, has yielded good results as agriculture production has gone up substantially in all these areas.
This significant achievement has increased the area of cultivation under these waterbodies, thanks to the additional water stored in the renovated irrigation tanks. The most important feature is that these exercises did not cause any expense to the government as the public shared the entire cost.
The district administration, in association with Anna University, Chennai, designed a methodology in 2018 to restore the hitherto uncared for waterbodies with the active involvement of the locals for coordinated execution. The prime objective was to renovate the waterbodies with locals’ participation to ensure increased agriculture productivity.
The methodology was formulated by demarcating the river region and the responsibility was allocated to all the stakeholders.
Based on the processed data, the district administration organised a discussion on the methods to be adopted for the rejuvenation work with the participation of different government departments, institutions, NGOs’ and the public. This methodology was meticulously adopted.
Two major works are the renovation of irrigation tanks at Manur and Pallamadai and their supply channels. “In these two major works, Anna University and ‘Nam Tamirabharani Iyakkam’ played laudable roles that significantly increased the storage of the tanks, especially the Manur Periyakulam. The data itself will speak for the work we’ve completed,” says Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish.
After the completion of the renovation a year ago, crops were raised on hitherto unused 130 hectares of land under Manur Periyakulam to give additional yield of 1,076 tonnes of paddy in 2019-20.
Similarly, the renovation of nearby Pallamadai tank boosted the farmers’ morale and the productivity. “We never imagined of carrying out such a work in this neglected region where the Collector had to neutralise man-made and nature’s hurdles. Ultimately, we have been immensely benefited,” says Mohamed Ibrahim of Manur Farmers’ Association, who mobilised men, material and resources for the completion of these two works.