Pannayarkulam – Manimutharu’s restored E.F.I Pond

Not a single spot in this water body is not frame worthy. While standing on the northern banks of the pond, the gigantic Manimutharu-Manjolai hills would mesmerise you, a view from the southern bank would present an extended green carpet of agrarian hard work. The Panayarkulam is a fine example of civilisation and its evolution on the banks of water bodies. Evolution that is situational leadership in sustainability.

Moolachi is a quintessential Tirunelveli district village on the foothills of the western ghats on the banks of a perennial river surrounded by ocean resembling waterfronts. This village is also one of the immediate beneficiaries of the Manimutharu dam. The Manimutharu dam is a critical reservoir catering to far stretching farmlands. Several interlinked canals carry the western ghats fresh flow to land parcels that stretch to horizon and beyond, feed many intermediary water bodies enroute. One such a system tank is the Pannayarkulam.

A rural pond, fed by an outflow canal from a dam feeding farmlands. Pannayarkulam is a 5 acres spread, intermediary pond. This pond is an active water pocket, that is extensively used and efficiently managed by the villagers. 3 crop cycles in a year and the health of the crop, wealth of the village all depends on Pannyarkulam, Moolachi lake, Kutti Kulam, Machimarichan kulam and 4 other water bodies in the landscape.

In our effort to restore rural water bodies that are neglected or subject to exploitation, we stumbled upon the Pannayarkulam. Since 2012, E.F.I has been active in the Tirunelveli district with water body restoration in extreme rural pockets such as KeezhAmbur to an ongoing attempt to clean up Udayarpatti lake in the heart of Nellai town. The Pannayarkulam restoration was not rocket science, but it is an attempt towards ensuring more rockets are not sent towards outer space in search of another liveable planet, if this one is devoid of water.

Check the efforts rolled out in the restoration of the Pannayarkulam: which is now deeper, stronger bunds and happier farmers.

On successful completion of the restoration, we had a grand inauguration with the government officials, donors and our strong community well wishers actively participating in the celebration.

Pannayarkulam is home to several lives. When inquired about snakes found in/near the pond, local farmer Mr. Marudhu’s exact words “என் எட்டு வயசு பேரன் கால் தடிப்புக்கு ஒரு நல்ல பாம்பு அதோ அந்த பாறை பொந்துல இருக்கு.” (A cobra as thick as an 8 year boy’s leg lives amidst those rocks). The pond is a biodiversity paradise with crabs, turtles, fish, frog, snake, birds and more.

Reviving the Pannayarkulam has given E.F.I an opportunity to re-establish that restoration does not mean concretisation. Reviving such rural water bodies in ways in which it is meant to be done. Reviving the pond not just as water source but also as a habitat.

Restored Pannayarkulam as a habitat is now brimming with water.

Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I

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