Residents of Gobirasipuram in Pogalur panchayat in Annur expressed disappointment as the water resource department has excluded a pond in the village from the Athikadavu – Avinashi Groundwater Recharge Project due to land acquisition issues.
S Duraisamy, a resident said, “The 3.5-acre pond was one of the 1,045 water bodies initially included in the AAP scheme, which will likely be inaugurated this month. Recently, officials removed pipelines, Outer Management System (OMS) and solar panels saying it has been excluded from the project.”
M Natarasan, president of Pogalur panchayat said, “Officials said a landowner near the pond has been denying the permission to lay a pipeline for 100 metres through his land despite prolonged negotiations. Because of this, they suspended the attempts to bring water to the pond.”
M Sulaiman, assistant engineer in charge of the water resource department said, “We have been waiting for the permission of the land owner for the last two and half years. Even the superintendent engineer of the project held negotiations with him. However, he moved the court against the proposal. Having no option, we finally excluded the water body from the project last week. We have chosen another small pond near the village as an alternative. We are still waiting for permission from the landowner. If he gives consent, we will install an OMS and pipeline to the water body again.”
The Athikadavu – Avinashi Groundwater Recharge Project, which is a five-decade-old demand of the people in Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Erode districts, began in February 2019. Built at a cost of Rs 1,916.41 crore, the project will irrigate 24,468 acres in drought-prone areas in the districts. The trial run was completed recently and the project is ready for inauguration.
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