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Dam rehabilitation work from January

Roy Mathew


Aim is to improve safety, performance of structures

Project has World Bank assistance


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala government will implement the World Bank-funded Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) from January.

The project, which aims at improving the safety and operational performance of selected structures, will cover dams, barrages and regulators, totalling 19, of the Irrigation Department and 12 projects of the Kerala State Electricity Board.

C.N. Sathi, Chief Engineer (Investigation and Designs) of the Irrigation Department, told The Hindu that the department had sought the release of Rs.34 crore next year to take up the first phase of the project, covering the Malampuzha, Walayar, Peechi and Neyyar dams. The department would take up the project in three phases over the next six years.

The total cost of the project will be Rs.211.17 crore, of which nearly Rs.100 crore will be for hydel projects. The bank will lend 80 per cent of the cost.

The balance is to be borne by the State government. The amount is to be repaid in 30 years after a grace period of five years.

The electricity board is taking up the rehabilitation and improvement of dams in two phases. The first phase will cover the Sabarigiri, Sholayar, Poringalkuthu, Sengulam and Idukki projects. Work on the Idamalayar, Pallivasal, Panniar, Neriamangalam, Kuttiyadi, Lower Periyar and Kakkad dams will be taken up in the second phase.

The project has mainly two components — comprehensive rehabilitation and improvement of dams and associated appurtenances and institutional strengthening for dam safety.

The first will include hydrological assessments, preparation of asset management plans and emergency preparedness plans, development of an emergency warning system, public awareness campaigns and floodplain mapping.

The second component aims at improving the effectiveness of the Irrigation Department and the electricity board in overseeing dam safety from the structural and operational point of view. Dam managers will be assisted with the development of appropriate skills and modern tools to operate and maintain dams adequately.

The other irrigation structures proposed to be rehabilitated (in the second phase) are the Chimoni, Kanjirapuzha, Kuttiyadi, Kallada and Bhoothathankettu dams and the Pampa (Maniyar), Pazhassi and Moolathara barrages. The third phase will cover the Siruvani, Meenkara, Chulliyar, Pothundy, Vazhani, Mangalam and Malankara dams.

No capacity-addition or modification of the spillways is planned under the project.

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