With no credible infrastructure in place beyond Srivaikundam check-dam to store surplus water of the Tamirabharani during flood, over 60,000 cusecs of water was going waste into the Gulf of Mannar on Wednesday.
The continuing widespread rain, particularly in the catchment areas of the already overflowing dams, has swelled the Tamirabharani since Tuesday, forcing the officials to move the people living in the low-lying areas close to the perennial river.
The flood water that entered the cultivable lands in Murappanaadu, Vallanaadu, Muththaalankurichi, Alwarthirunagari and Karungulam gave tense moments to the farmers, who have cultivated paddy in their ranches. “The submerged paddy and plantain can be saved only if the rain stops for a few days so that the stagnant water can be drained at the earliest,” says farmer Soundararajan of Pandaaravilai.
While 10 families from Kongarayakurichi have been relocated to the relief camp in the village, another 35 families from Alwarthirunagari were moved to the relief centre in the same area.
Collector K. Senthil Raj, accompanied by Sub-Collector, Thoothukudi, Simranjeet Singh, met the relocated people at the Alwarthirunagari and Kongaraayakurichi relief centres after visiting Srivaikundam check-dam and the Eral Bridge.
The Collector also inspected the estuary at Punnaikaayal where the Tamirabharani enters the Gulf of Mannar.
After giving a brief respite to the residents, rain returned to Thoothukudi in the afternoon on Wednesday to cause water-logging in several parts of the port town. Above all, the rain completely paralysed the last minute Pongal sale.
Rainfall in the district (in mm): Sattankulam – 52, Kadambur – 31, Vedanaththam – 30, Srivaikundam and Soorangudi – 28, Vaippaar – 26, Kayathar – 20, Vilaathikulam and Maniyaachi – 19, Tiruchendur – 17, Kulasekarapattinam – 16, Ettaiyapuram – 14, Keezha Arasadi – 13, Kovilpatti, Kaayalpattinam and Kaadalkudi – 12, Thoothukudi – 8, Ottapidaaram – 3 and Kazhugumalai – 2.50.
Following heavy rainfall along the Western Ghats, all waterfalls in Courtallam experienced flood on Wednesday. Consequently, the visitors were not allowed to take bath in the Main Falls, Five Falls and the Old Courtallam Falls.
Farmers who would usually enjoy excellent sale of vegetables during ‘Pongal’ were badly hit by this unseasonal rain this time. “Since the season started on a promising note with sufficient rainfall since November, the farmers were hoping for a good harvest during Pongal this year. However, the unseasonal rain has played spoilsport, unfortunately, as the vegetables could not be harvested amidst rain,” said N. Balasubramanian, a vegetable grower from Alangulam.
Sugarcane sellers, who had brought several truckloads of sugarcane from Madurai, Theni and Thanjavur, and were selling a bundle of 15 sugarcanes at ₹ 350 till Monday, were struggling to find customers, who remained indoors due to incessant drizzle.
As the catchment areas of the dams continue to record good rainfall, discharge of water from the near-full Gadana, Ramanadhi and Karuppanadhi dams is heavy since Tuesday. Of this, over 3.300 cusecs of water is being discharged from Gadana dam alone.
Rainfall in the district (in mm): Gadana dam – 75, Ramanadhi dam – 25, Shencottai – 21, Karuppanadhi dam – 16, Tenkasi – 15.80, Gundar dam and Aayikudi – 14, Sankarankovil – 10, Sivagiri – 8.40.
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