The Chief Engineer of Water Resources Department V.K. Mahanudevan has said that a scheme for Rs.32 crore was prepared for the reconstruction of Moolathara regulator, a structure under inter-state water sharing Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP), that had breached in November 2009.
Talking to `The Hindu' the Chief Engineer has said that though the regulator was breached in November 2009 it could not be repaired so far because of the delay in preparing the new design.
Now the new design is at its final stage by Irrigation Design and Research Board and will be submitted to the Government soon for approval.
The new regulator will have six shutters on both sides to leave out the excess water. One shutter will cost between Rs.4 to Rs.5 crore.
There will also be bridge on both the sides of the regulator on top of the shutters. This will help to rise the vent way to let out more water, the Chief Engineer said.
The delay in the reconstruction of the Moolathara regulator invited strong protest from farmers during the last three years as it had affected paddy cultivation in 45,000 acres of land under Chitturpuzha irrigation project.
Muthalamthode Mani, general secretary of Deesheeya Karshaka Samjam said that “the failure to repair the breached regulator had put the entire Moolathara Dam structure in danger.”
“The regulator was breached as its bed level was unscientifically raised during 1994-95 by 60 to 70 cm to provide water to the Right Bank Canal, which is one meter above the Left Bank Canal. Owing to this, only two out of 13 shutters worked fully to allow overflow of water in the wake of heavy rain,” he said.
“The raising of the bed level to provide water to Left Bank Canal was a political decision but not on scientific basis,” Mr. Mani said.
The Moolathara regulator that breached on November 8, 2009, had affected paddy cultivation in 45,000 acres of land in Chittur taluk in the district, he said.
It is an important component of the inter-State PAP system that provided irrigation water to Chittur taluk.
The regulator breached owing to the release of a huge quantity of water from the Aliyar Dam of the PAP following heavy rain in Tamil Nadu in November 2009.
K. Krishnankutty, former MLA of Chittur, said the State had lost at least three times the 7.25 TMC feet water that Kerala received annually from PAP for the Chitturpuzha irrigation scheme due the delay in repairing the breached regulator.