Pondy bids to strengthen river bund to conserve rainwater
Puducherry: The Puducherry government has proposed to seek a negotiated loan from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to strengthen the bund of Pennaiyar River in order to prevent the discharge of rainwater into the ocean.
Chief engineer (public works) V Shanmugasundaram told lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi, who inspected the river bund on Saturday following complaints from the villagers that the bund of Pennaiyar River breaches often leading to discharge of water into the ocean.
Shanmugasundaram said the government has accorded administrative sanction to seek a loan from Nabard and the public works department has proposed to strengthen the damaged portions of the bund of Pennaiyar River before the next monsoon to conserve rainwater and to prevent it from draining out into the ocean.
The chief engineer said the government last sanctioned a project to strengthen the bund of the Pennaiyar River in 2007. The public works department had executed the project and strengthened the bund up to a length of 240m (out of the total 265m). However, the project was stalled due to paucity of funds. Since then every rainy season the earthen bund in the remaining portion gets washed away, resulting in the rainwater draining out into the ocean.
Bedi also visited Pillayarkuppam village and inspected Oorakulam pond following complaints of encroachment on the water body and illegal sand mining. The villagers charged that the waste generated from the cremation ground in the vicinity has been polluting the pond. She directed the deputy collector (south), N Udaykumar, and police and civic officials to take remedial action. The villagers also sought the lieutenant governor's help in building a playground on a two-acre site near an erstwhile paper mill.