Thanjavur: Farmers of Cauvery delta welcomed the statement of senior BJP leader and former Union minister Nitin Gadkari, that linking Krishna and Godavari rivers to provide water for Tamil Nadu will be given top priority.
S. Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery delta farmers welfare association told DC over phone that “it is a positive step from long term point of view”.
“As it involves four or five states, it may take time for implementation. There may be objections and many hurdles but all have to be overcome. It may take four to five years even if it is started now. Until then, steps should be taken to prevent wastage of water into sea during north east monsoon in Tamil Nadu to enhance water availability to Cavuery delta. For this, height of Mettur dam can be raised by another ten ft. And as many as 24 tmcft of water can be saved by this. Barrages, check dams and bed dams can be built from Upper anaicut to lower anaicut in both Cauvery and Kollidam rivers which can save another 26 tmcft of water. Thirumanur lake can be strengthened and expanded to store another six tmcft of water. This will go a long way in meeting the irrigation needs of delta. This can be done within a couple of years. As of now, there are like-minded governments, both at state and centre, this is easily possible. Later when Krishna -Godavari link scheme is implemented, this water can be used for drinking purpose,” Ranganathan explained.
V. Jeevakumar, district vice-president of All lndia Kisan Sabha, said that it is a very good proposal. But Gadkari should not stop with announcing it immediately after election victory. He should see that it is implemented. With respect to rivers linking, promises were made many times but have not been implemented. DMK MPs, particularly S.S. PalaniManickam from Thanjavur should make it a point to remind the Union ministry about linking of rivers and solving water problem (for cultivation and drinking) in TamilNadu,” said Jeevakumar.
Sami Nadarajan of the CPI(M) said that feasibility of such a project should be explored first bfore giving assurance.