Kerala Irrigation Department engineers accompanied it

The Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee on Sunday inspected Tamil Nadu Hydel Power generation station at Lower camp and Vaigai dam as part of its inspection of Mullaperiyar dam here.

Kerala Irrigation Department engineers accompanied the panel during inspection.

The panel's main objective was to assess utilisation of water, including drinking water and irrigation purposes, and to inspect the ayacut areas.

The panel comprising C.D. Thatte and D.K. Mehta, first inspected the Four Bay dam and power station at Lower Camp near Goodalur and enquired with officials representing Tamil Nadu. Later, it inspected a limestone quarry, situated on the way to the Sri Mangaladevi Kannagi Amman Temple near Lower camp. (Limestones present at this site were used for construction of the Periyar dam 120 years ago).

The panel then checked the condition of the Vaigai dam. The members asked the officials to lift one of the main shutters to check the functioning of the electric-powered shutters. When they saw the flow chart of Vaigai dam, they enquired about distribution of water for irrigation and drinking water supply at various points.

The Tamil Nadu Public Works engineers, who accompanied the team, explained the flow chart and utilisation pattern of Vaigai dam water in five southern districts.

The officials said the water was used for irrigation of several lakh acres of land under its ayacut in Madurai, Theni and Dindigul districts and to fill tanks in Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts for irrigating several acres. The team also inspected the dam's tunnel to check seepage levels.

The team also visited Mudalakkampatti village and inspected the pick-up weir to study distribution of drinking water to Madurai city and for the Sedapatti drinking water scheme.

Mr. Mehta and Mr. Datte came to Dindigul district in the evening and inspected Peranai, one of the main drinking water supply sources to Dindigul, and many wayside villages.

The team will inspect Vaigai ayacut areas in Melur and Kallandhiri areas tomorrow.