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Nod for bund strengthening work

K. Lakshmi

Expected to enhance stability of the bund of Cholavaram, Red Hills reservoirs

— Photo: K.Pichumani

Strengthening of the bund will help prevent heavy leakage. A view of Red Hills reservoir.

CHENNAI: The Water Resources Department will in a few months start work to enhance the stability of the bund of Cholavaram and Red Hills reservoirs, two major sources of drinking water needs of Chennai.

Officials of the WRD said the proposal, worth Rs.18.66 crore, has received the administrative sanction from the government. This is part of the Rs.19.22-crore fund sanctioned for carrying out similar improvement works in the four reservoirs that cater for Chennai – the other two being Poondi and Chembarampakkam.

The municipal administration and Water Supply Department would contribute 50 per cent of the project cost. Pointing out that a detailed report on the works to be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs.100 crore was submitted to the government a year ago, the officials said the fund was sanctioned for the first phase.

As an effort to prevent heavy leakage of water from the Red Hills reservoir, filter arrangement on the slope of the bund for nearly two km would be made. This is done to maintain a compacted earthen bund. The filter would be similar to that done for rainwater harvesting structures and as part of the process, layers of fine and coarse sand and metal would be used.

Water leakage cannot be fully avoided through earthen bund. A certain amount of seepage is therefore allowed, said an official. The filter arrangement would ensure that the leakage does not increase and affect the bund.

A wall, made of reinforced cement concrete, would be built to prevent seepage in the two weirs, which are structures that allow surplus water to flow out when the full tank level of 15.3 metre is reached at Red Hills reservoir, the official said.

Besides fencing the area of two km along the main bund to avoid encroachment, a service road would also be laid. While the reservoir is surrounded by a bund for eight km, the water spread area for the remaining distance of 10 km has not been provided with a bund to allow flood water from catchment area to flow into the reservoir.

The bund at Cholavaram reservoir would also be strengthened for a distance of three km. While damaged shutters at Poondi reservoir would be repaired under the first phase, strengthening of bund and repair of vents would be carried out at the waterbody in Chembarampakkam. The work would be completed within two years.

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