A huge boulder crashed into the Contour Canal that brought water from the Sarcarpathy power house to the Thirumurthy Dam late last night and caused a breach over a stretch of more than 300 feet in the canal.

Apart from causing damage to the canal and filling up the Aliyar Dam, the heavy rain that pounded the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project led to a spate in River Palar. A temple at Somanthuraichithur was inundated. Fire and rescue services personnel rescued four priests who were stuck inside the temple.

Water from the canal entered the Aliyar Feeder Canal and washed away 400 feet of its bund.

The flow of water and the silt was so heavy that the water formed its own course after the breach in the feeder canal and inundated a coconut plantation downstream, District Collector P. Umanath told The Hindu after assessing the damage.

Commissioner of Revenue Administration N. Sundaradevan reviewed the situation at the breach spot and asked the Water Resources Organisation of Public Works Department to prepare estimates for the repairs and forward it to the State Government. He also spoke to the affected farmers who said 300 acres were flooded.

Mr. Sundaradevan said funds with the district administration could be immediately released for repairs to the canals and to provide relief to the affected persons.

Dr. Umanath said a landslip had led to the boulder crashing into the Contour Canal and causing the breach. The Collector said the breach in the Contour Canal would be repaired in two weeks as one lakh hectares of farm lands were dependent on the water from the Thirumurthy Dam. If there was no water flow in the canal, the dam would not have enough water for irrigation.

Parambikulam-Aliyar Project Superintending Engineer P. Sivasankaran, Executive Engineer V. Srinivasagam, Assistant Executive Engineer M. Kulandaiswamy and Revenue Divisional Officer of Pollachi P. Anbazhagan were among the officials who were with the Commissioner and the Collector to oversee the repair works.

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