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Southwest monsoon delays launch of Athikadavu-Avinashi scheme in Coimbatore

Southwest monsoon delays launch of Athikadavu-Avinashi scheme in Coimbatore

Formal commissioning of the eagerly anticipated Athikadavu Avinashi Scheme, expected at this time of the year, could take a little longer due to what is perceived in official circles as erratic nature of southwest monsoon.

Absence of the continuity in the rainfall had meant inadequate flow in the Bhavani river, from where the scheme envisages tapping 1.5 tmc surplus water, hampering the test and trial run process for determining the extent of recharge in the specified extent of water bodies.

Testing has, so far, been completed in 863 out of 1,045 water bodies, and completion of the task in the remaining 182 water bodies hinges on the further flow in the Bhavani river, Chief Engineer of Water Resources Department, Coimbatore region, S. Sivalingam said.

Though the testing and trial run began on February 20, the process could not be completed due to the decline in flow in the Bhavani river. The project entails supplying water in pipelines through six of the eight pumps (two to be kept in reserve), Mr. Sivalingam said, adding that all aspects pertaining to construction have been completed.

On their part, farmers exude hope that the State government will formally launch the scheme during the end of August. It is based on the expectation of some spells of rainfall in between, such that the water bodies could be recharged for facilitating raising of crops during September-October, Athikadavu Sampath, a functionary of a farmers’ association said.

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Pipelines running to a cumulative length of 1,058 km links the 1,045 water bodies with a combined ayacut of 24,468 acres in drought-prone locations in Erode, Tirupur and Coimbatore districts.

The pumping under the scheme will be limited to 250 cusecs for 70 days to recharge the water bodies in Perundurai, Chennimalai, Nambiyur, Gobichettipalayam, Bhavanisagar, Uthukuli, Avinashi, Tiruppur, Annur, Sulur, Sarkarsamakulam, Periyanaickenpalayam and Karamadai blocks, it is learnt. Alongside making possible irrigation in arid expanses, the scheme’s significance lies in augmenting groundwater and fulfilling the drinking water needs in the drought-hit areas.

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