When the Palar River Bed Smiled Because of AP

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The heavy rains that hit the state a couple of days ago surely brought in some good news for Tamil Nadu. The check dam that was constructed by the Andhra Pradesh state government on the Palar River at AP-TN border, overflowed due to the rain that hit the catchment area, thus resulting in this surplus water flowing into the river beds of the Tamil Nadu region.

According to the farmers during the rains that hit AP on Friday and Saturday, the water flowed up to a distance of 8km from the check dam and reached Ambalur. The state government had increased the height of the check dam during June-July last year, in order to increase its storage capacity. After this development, it is the first time that the lower riparian areas have enjoyed the overflow of rain water.

The height of the dam was increased by the government in spite of the Mysore-Madras agreement 1892 which is still valid under the Interstate River Water Dispute Act 1956. The farmers stated that the region around the check dam saw heavy rain for close to three hours on 26th May i.e. Friday, thereby filling up the dam which has been dry for close to three months now.

According to a farmer of Pullur village, S Suresh, the surplus water from the check dam started flowing into the riverbed in the district of Vellore during the early hours of Friday and reached Ambalur by Saturday night. However, the flow ebbed by Sunday morning since there was no rain later. He added that the riverbed which was dry had become moist after absorbing all the water.

The farmers in the area are quite pleased as they think that this would lead to replenishment of ground water. The PWD officials said that the Vellore riverbed saw a steady flow of water for about 12 to 15 hours from Friday night onwards. According to them this should have led to the rejuvenation of ground water to up to about 500 meters on either side of the river bed and up to Ambalur region. They stated that thanks to this steady flow of water, the river bed has become moist. In case, the state sees more rain in the coming days, the water could overflow and reach up to Vaniyambadi town.



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