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540-metre check dam across Cauvery at Mutharasanallur

S.Ganesan

Dam expected to improve water table and help recharge sources

— File photo

Lifeline: Pumping mains from the Kambarasampettai Drinking Water Pumping Station on the Cauvery river. A check dam is proposed to be built across the river close to this site.

TIRUCHI: The check dam proposed across the Cauvery at Mutharasanallur near Tiruchi would run for a length of about 540 metres. The check dam for which Chief Minister Jayalalithaa laid the foundation stone on Sunday, would be located about 100 metres upstream of the Amma Mandapam bathing ghat on the left bank of the Cauvery and about 100 metres upstream of the Ayyalamman Padithurai on the right bank of the river, sources in the Public Works Department indicated. This would be the shortest distance across the river in this stretch.

The construction of the check dam is expected to greatly contribute to improve the ground water table and also help recharge the drinking water sources on the Cauvery river bed.

With the river being highly exploited for drinking water schemes for various towns and cities between Mayanur in Karur district and Tiruchi, farmers have been complaining that the water table around the river was being affected.

This apart, several service organisations in the city have been expressing apprehension over the possibility of the city's drinking water sources being affected, especially after the Ramanathapuram Combined Drinking Water Supply Scheme was implemented. The source of the scheme is located close to Mutharasanallur.

A government order, dated June 17, 2011 issued by M.Sai Kumar, PWD secretary, cited a letter from the Chief Engineer (Plan Formulation), PWD Water Resources Organisation, which stated that the construction of the check dam has been proposed to benefit the Ramanathapuram CWSS and the drinking water schemes catering to the Tiruchi city.

Besides, the check dam would help overcome the drinking water shortage during summer owing to the depletion of the water table.

The government has approached the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for financial assistance for the project. However, administrative sanction has been given now to take up the project with State funds, in anticipation of the NABARD assistance.

Sources said the technical sanction would be obtained soon after which tenders would be called in. Indications are that the construction work would begin after the closure of the Mettur reservoir in January.

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