Every year during monsoon, rivers, lakes and other water bodies get filled up fast and starts overflowing. The excess water is channeled to sea. In addition the rainwater collected in cities gets mixed with drainage and is of no use. During public meeting, there is a talk about our ancient culture and various aspects highlighting the glory of ancient lineage and Kings. The aspect of maintaining water bodies are never be mentioned or practiced for the current age. During ancient times one important aspect of water management was the construction of ponds and ooranis. Ancient kings made it a practice to have at least one pond in each village attached to the local temple. Ooranis, Kanmois and other water bodies were created for storing the precious rain water. . Revenue free lands (Manyams) were made to village functionaries. They in turn used the revenue from it to manage the water bodies. Their maintenance included regular de silting, maintenance of sluices and irrigation channels. It is interesting to note that ancient Tamil kings had special levies for managing the lakes. Levies had the names:’chenneer vetti’ ‘atrukarai’, ‘chenneer pothuvinai’, ‘chenneer amangi’ and ‘kudimai’. This benefited in developing lakes, canals, embankments and de silting of lakes. How did the ancient kings and village functionaries manage to do it without any complex machinery?
On the other hand all our water bodies have been polluted or converted to plots. During the recent downpour at least water was released to sea due to the non availability of adequate storage. Marooned houses, colonies and buildings pumped out the rain water from their places to the road or a drain. The attitude was I don’t want the water in my place and don’t care where it went. Is de silting and deepening existing lakes such a complex job?