<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session II (Winter Session) </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session II (Winter Session) Tuesday, November 30, 1999/Agrahayana 9, 1921 (Saka )

Title: Demand to clean and desilt the Tamirabarani river in Tamil Nadu and the channels to preserve the river.

SHRI P.H. PANDIYAN (TIRUNELVELI): Mr. Deputy-Speaker, Sir, I make a special mention to draw the attention of the Government regarding desilting of Tamirabarani river in Tamil Nadu. Under the National River Action Plan, only Cauvery river is included and it is being desilted. This river originates from the hill, Pothigai. It caters to the needs of lakhs of farmers. It originates from Pothigai and mixes with the Bay of Bengal. It caters to the needs of all the inhabitants of three districts. Very fine potable water, protected water is being supplied.

From the day of Independence, it has not been desilted. Now a serious situation has arisen wherein the whole river is polluted by planting. It is looking like a forest plantation inside the river. The water is not able to flow freely and it has a number of channels for two districts. Through the channels, the river water flows to the water tanks. So, the cleaning and desilting of Tamirabarani river has to be included under the National River Action Plan by the Ministry of Forest and Environment. I do not know whether the Ministry of Water Resources also has to be consulted. So, to give protected water supply to all the districts, a master plan has to be drawn up by the Government of India. It is because from Tirunelveli - the water is originated from Pothigai Hills - the water is being supplied to Madurai, Koilpatti and in and around hundred miles radius of that area. Also, this river is supplying water to the naval base at Vijayanarayanam. The water is being supplied to the skylab there.

So, I would appeal to the Government of India, through this special mention, to desilt the whole Tamirabarani river and also the channels to preserve the river. There are two dams -- Papanasam and Manimuthar. Sometimes, during the rainy season, these two dams are being opened and their waters are also entering Tamirabarani river. So, it has to be cleaned and desilted. I appeal to the Government of India to clean it.