Tension near Tiruchuli over non-release of water

Tension prevailed at Maili, a village near Tiruchuli, after villagers blocked a road leading to Keezha Idayankulam as people of that village had failed to let surplus water flow from their tank to Maili tank, on Tuesday.

Tiruchuli police have booked two cases against people of Maili on several counts for unlawful assembly, preventing Government employees from discharging their duty and criminal intimidation.

The villagers have been demanding the Revenue officials to let the water “blocked” by the people of Keezha Idayankulam flow to their village tank.

The dispute has been going on for nearly three years.

“After we appealed, Revenue officials dug up a channel to allow the overflowing water from their tank to drain into Maili tank. However, it was blocked again,” said a resident of Maili, B. Karuppiah (37).

Villagers of Maili had surrendered their ration cards at the Tiruchuli Taluk office in November after the officials failed to help them.

Though the Tahsildar then promised to resolve their issue at the earliest, no action was taken till Tuesday.

“The tahsildar is avoiding us and not meeting for the past several days,” he added.

Irked over this, scores of villagers, including women and children, blocked the Tiruchuli-Rameswaram road at Maili junction.

After prolonged protest, they surrendered their voter identity cards.

Suddenly, when they blocked the road leading to Idayankulam with stones and mud, the police chased them away.

Revenue Divisional Officer (Aruppukottai), K. S. Murugesan, said that water that used to flow from Keezha Idayankulam to Maili had stopped years back after the supply channel got silted up over the years.

“In the intervening period, water was being released into Maili in a local adjustment. But, after the issue was taken up to the Court and as the case is still pending, officials were unable to help,” he said.

After the Tuesday’s protest, police have been deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

The villagers demand that a permanent solution be found so that the water was available for irrigating around 140 acres of land in Maili and Nattakulam.

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