Selvaraj, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Perundurai, negotiated with the farmers who are protesting against the modernization project of Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) Canal on Wednesday. But, no solution was found.
As the PWD is planning to start the work in the Keelpavani canal near Chennimalai, Erode RDO Sybudhin planned to hold tripartite talks in his office on the issue on Thursday by inviting ryots, opposing and supporting the project, and officials.
The Rs 709 crore project plans to renovate and modernise the canal in Erode, Tiruppur and Karur districts. Some farmers opposed the project on the fear of it would lead to concretisation of canal’s surface affecting the seepages and percolation of water into the earth which could hit irrigation source of over 30000 acres in the districts.
It would also lead to drinking water shortage in many areas, they feared.
At the same time, another section of farmers demanded that the government implement the project immediately, as the project would only provide water to farmers in the downstream area and repair dilapidated bridges, culverts and sluizes.
In this context, the project work began on Wednesday with heavy police security to install machines for making cement boards at a Public Works Department owned site at Thalavumalai on Arachalur Road next to Chennimalai.
At that time, the farmers who were protesting against the construction of the concrete floor came there and protested that no work should be done till the counting of votes was completed.
Thus the works were suspended.
Later, Perundurai DSP Selvaraj, Perundurai Additional Tahsildar Arivazhagan, Police Inspector Saravanan (Chennimalai), Shanmugasundaram (Arachalur), Public Works Department Assistant Engineer Subramanian and Assistant Engineer Jayachandran held talks with the farmers.
But, no solution was found and Erode RDO Sybudhin was informed.
Following this, farmers protesting against the laying of the concrete floor were invited to attend the talks chaired by him in Erode on Thursday (April 22).
The peasants who accepted this dispersed from there. In this regard, the Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department Arul said: On April 30, the water supply in the Kil Bhavani canal was stopped.
After that, all the dilapidated canals and drains will be repaired and the bridges will be widened. This is not a concrete lining project.
Percolation of groundwater will not be affected in any way by this project.
We are going to complete this work by August 15.Thadappally – Arakkankottai, Kalingarayan canals modernization work is being carried out in collaboration with the farmers.
On that model, the farmers and the public in the Kil Bhavani canal area should also help complete this project as soon as possible, he pleaded.