KudiMaraamathu Scheme – An effective measure or just a paper tiger?

KudiMaraamathu Scheme Thittam Tamilnadu – குடிமராமத்து திட்டம் (பொதுப் பணித் துறை)

Time and again, there will either be a problem of plenty or a downright drought when it comes to the plight of Cauvery basin. The region either receives excessive and destructive rainfall or receives nothing at all. This has been the case since time immemorial and this year too, was no different. Thai Pongal celebrations, which should have been an event of merrymaking, has turned into a season of gloom and despair for the region’s farming community.

kudimaramathu scheme

Cauvery delta

Cauvery delta witnessed a monstrous rainfall in a single week, the kind that was not seen in the last 40 years, resulting in the flooding of the region’s famed paddy fields, damaging roughly 75 % of the standing crop covering an expanse of 15 Lakh Acres. These crops were ready for harvest and would have brought a lot of cheer if the rain didn’t play spoilsport. And paddy was not the only crop to be hit. Groundnuts, black gram, plantains and Gingelly crops too, have taken a hit. Many houses were flooded, livestock have perished, and a few lives were lost too. The hapless farmers, who were still recovering from the brutal blow dealt by ‘Gaja’ cyclone, are hit again, making their livelihoods miserable and their future, a question mark.

About 60000 acres of Paddy crop from southern districts such as Nellai, Tenkasi and Tuticorin also stand submerged owing to these merciless rains. It is estimated that Tenkasi district alone has about 3.5 Lakh acres of submerged fields after the rains. These fields were predominantly cultivated with rainfed crops such as Corn, Bajra, cotton, shallots and green chilies.

The Monsoon rains have always been the primary source of irrigation to the largely dry and arid agricultural lands of Tamilnadu. But untimely and erratic monsoons of late have spelt doom, instead of playing the savior. This rubs salt on to the wounds of the farmers who are on the verge of their limits. A man can take only so much. It is imperative on the part of the TN govt to educate and equip the farmers about effective counter measures to tackle the unreliable monsoons and unpredictable weather.

KudiMaraamathu Scheme in Tamilnadu

The excess water released from the dams of Southern Tamilnadu, coupled with river flooding, resulted in the discharge of over 1,00,000 cubic feet of water in Thamirabarani, the perennial river in these parts. But in spite of all this excess, only about 200 small lakhs in the region, out of more than 1000, were filled to their capacity. This is testimony to the gross mismanagement of our water resources by our government. Most of the checkdams have very shallow reservoirs and hence not much of the floodwater could be stored in there. Though effectively implemented here and there in some places, the famed KudiMaraamathu Scheme just remains a namesake in many places, complain the affected farmers. Had it been implemented properly, much of this damage could have been averted, and a lot of precious water could have been stored and saved. Lakes have to be periodically de-silted and the encroachments around are to be removed. A transparent study about what the KudiMaraamathu Thittam actually achieved, along with the funds spent under the scheme, are to be investigated and published.

Irrespective of all the cruel blows dealt by nature, farmers time and again return to the same vocation. Their misery should not be taken lightly. The honorable TamilNadu Govt should survey the flood-hit cropped areas in haste and provide quick relief to the affected farmers, who still happen to be the backbone of Indian economy.

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