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CHENNAI: The southwest monsoon is yet to bring cheer to the state with the major reservoirs showing a combined storage of only 28% of their full capacity as on Friday.

It was 8% the same day last year. While Kabini water release from Karnataka helped Mettur raise its storage to 14tmcft as against 93.4tmcft, it is insufficient for irrigation for delta farmers. The inflow fell to 49 cusecs as on Against the backdrop of the poor storage, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday held a high-level review meeting with PWD officials and issued instructions, including speeding up Kudimaramath projects and completing them ahead of northeast monsoon. Kudimaramath is the ancient concept of people’s participation in desilting and restoring water bodies.

“Some 1,511 projects have been cleared under the second phase at a cost of Rs 328.95 crore. These are primarily strengthening of bunds and restoring the channels to full capacity,” said a senior PWD official. About 1,513 schemes across the state were completed last year through farmers’ organisations/ayacutdars on nomination basis. This year, the ceiling of Rs 10 lakh to take up Kudimaramath work has been lifted for ayacutdars.

According to PWD officials, Tirupur (159), Tirunelveli (144), Madurai (128) top the list of districts for the Kudimaramath scheme. Sivaganga, the water-deficit district, will get 104 rehabilitation projects. The schemes were revised in February, after a review meet held by Palaniswami, who holds the PWD portfolio, felt that the significant components like strengthening of tank bund, desilitng of supply channels and rehabilitation of shutters for carrying out full-fledged repairs to the tanks/channels should be included. The regional meteorology department data suggests that the state received normal rainfall until Friday, but it is still to pick up in northern and central parts.

Currently, good rain triggered by southwest monsoon brought cheer to farmers downstream of Mullaperiyar as the storage stood at 4.07tmcft on Friday as against the total capacity of 10.57tmcft. The dam caters to the five southern districts, including Madurai, Theni, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram and Dindigul. In the western belt, Sholayar of the Parambikulam-Aliyar group of dams, has a comfortable storage with 4.38tmcft as against 5.05tmcft. Papanasam and Manimuthar in Tirunelveli, and Perunchani in Kanyakumari are half full. “Water supply problem got reduced due to rain,” municipal administration and water supply minister S P Velumani said, on the sidelines of his review meeting with rural development officials here. The minister said 99% of the rural areas was ensured piped water supply.

Source : Timesofindia

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