Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami inaugurated desilting of lake under Kudimaramath scheme at Panapakkam lake in Tiruvallur district on Wednesday.
After performing pooja, Palaniswami was seen with a crow bar and a spade. He removed sand from the lake and handed over the sand to a woman.
Minister for municipal administration, rural development and implementation of special programme S.P. Velumani, minister for rural industries P.Benjamin, minister for Tamil official language and Tamil culture K. Pandiarajan, chief secretary K. Shanmugam, MLAs and senior officials took part in the programme.
Launching kudimaramath at Panapakkam tank in Tiruvallur, the chief minister pointed to the drought-like situation in the last three years, which is unparalleled in the last four decades.
Expressing the importance of rainwater harvesting, Chief Minister referred to the failure of monsoons, including in the current year, and said rainwater harvesting is important in this situation.
Palaniswami said, “Every drop of rain water has to be conserved. I am proud to launch the mission, a people’s movement to augment water bodies, recharge groundwater table, better irrigation, besides reuse sewage to reduce the stress on natural resources, and eco-restoration of rivers, estuaries, beaches and streams.”
He also launched a month-long intensive campaign with the support of corporates, volunteers and NGOs. The collectors will lead the mission by setting up water conservation boards in every ward of urban and rural local bodies.
On the lines of rejuvenation of river Ganga, the government will implement ‘Nadanthai Vaazhi Cauvery’ to restore the Cauvery for which a project report will be submitted to the Union government in September. Similarly, action would be taken to prevent pollution of Bhavani, Vaigai, Amaravathi and Tamirabarani.
Palaniswami said the government took up 1,829 restoration works under kudimaramath this year at Rs 499.68 crore. A special fund of Rs 500 crore, in addition to Rs 750 crore, under MGNREGA has been extended to restore small water bodies in rural areas. In Chennai, 114 water bodies will be restored at Rs 100 crore.
“We have got a good outcome in Mekedatu issue with the Union environment ministry refusing to clear Karnataka’s dam plan. The Supreme Court verdict is clear. No one can build reservoirs across the Cauvery. There is no need to panic,” the chief minister said, whose request to PM Narendra Modi and minister Javadekar resulted in the ministry stalling the dam plan.