The Tamil Nadu government has announced the construction of 10,000 check dams in the year 2019-20 to store the run-off water from rains. The decision was taken understanding the need to save every drop of water from the rain that the state gets and to confront the water challenges.
The check dams will come up in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Villupuram and Tirunelveli districts at a cost of Rs 312 crore, as per reports.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that these check dams will be constructed in rural areas of these districts to aid better irrigation and replenish the ground water table in those areas. The dams will be built with concrete and boulders based on the groundwater mapping done by the central government in collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board.
The check dams will be constructed by workers enrolled with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).
The Union government has also deployed 26 IAS officers to undertake the water conservation and water harvesting measures in 541 revenue blocks in 26 districts in Tamil Nadu that have been identified as ‘water-stressed’. The bureaucrats have started their inspection to assess the existing water situation in the state and the functioning of various water conservation schemes. They will be submitting their report to the central government.
The move comes at a time when many districts in Tamil Nadu are experiencing severe drought conditions. While Chennai is facing acute shortage of water for domestic use, other districts like Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur are awaiting water from Mettur dam for agriculture. The Southwest monsoon this season has been dismal over the Cauvery catchment areas, thereby contributing much less water to the dams in Karnataka.