The Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company, has desilted a total of 104 tanks/lakes, including 89 minor irrigation tanks in Tamil Nadu and 15 lakes in Maharashtra.
These include 12 ponds in Sirkazhi in Nagapattinam district, 13 minor irrigation tanks, including 2 PWD tanks at Thirukkurungudi in Tirunelveli district and 15 minor irrigation tanks at Navathirupathi in Thoothukudi district.
“Last few years we have seen severe drought in many places which was causing concern. But, whatever water we have, we can put it to best use and that’s why we decide to take up this project,” Ashoke Joshi, Chairman, SST, told The Hindu.
The removal of 9.35 lakh tonnes of silt has resulted in the creation of an additional storage capacity of 26.66 million cubic feet (mcft). The increased water storage capacity is 754.92 million litres. Mr. Joshi explained that because of this project, the period of water available in the tanks extends to more than 90 days.
“When we started this initiative, we assured the government that the silt would be put to proper use. About 69% of silt was utilised for strengthening the bunds of tanks and the remaining 31% was used by farmers to improve the fertility of the soil,” Mr. Joshi said.
Benefit to ryots
According to SST, these areas also witnessed an increase of around 5 to 7 feet in their respective water table. More than 10,500 farmers have benefited from this initiative with close to 5,000 wells and borewells being recharged.
“We will soon start finalising on the locations for 2018. By March, we will have the list of tanks, ponds and lakes that we will work on for this year,” Mr. Joshi said.