Water for irrigation released from Stanley reservoir in Mettur on June 12 flowed past the Grand Anicut on Tuesday.
Special ‘poojas’ were performed at the ‘Anjaneyar’ and `Karuppannaswamy’ shrines in the Grand Anicut complex before the shutters were lifted to allow the water to flow into Cauvery, Vennar and Coleroon rivers and the Grand Anicut Canal. Around 500 cusecs of water was released in each river and the canal, initially.
The quantum of water release would be increased subsequently depending on the arrival of water to the Grand Anicut popularly known as ‘Kallanai’ and as per the requirement of water for irrigation in the Cauvery and Vennar Sub-basins and the GA Canal irrigated areas, official sources said.
Dignitaries garlanded the statues of Chola King, Karikalan, who had built the regulator across the River Cauvery and Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton, a British General, who learned the technique of laying foundations on a sand-bed using unhewn stones by studying the `Kallanai’ constructed in 2nd Century and modified the anicut structure.
Food Minister R. Kamaraj, Handlooms Minister O. S. Manian, Agriculture Minister R. Duraikannu, Puducherry Agriculture Minister R. Kamalakannan, Collectors of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudkottai and Tiruchi districts, MPs and MLAs elected from this region attended the ceremony.