The barrage is an important regulator to control water flow

The dry Cauvery bed, coupled with lack of rains in the last six months, has created a window to the Public Works Department to take up repairs on the corroded shutters of the barrage at Upper Anicut on the outskirts of the city.

The shutters and their operational systems are being refurbished ahead of the monsoon as the barrage is an important regulator to control the Cauvery’s flow at times of floods.

The Coleroon begins from Mukkombu and the regulatory system is vital for the PWD to prevent heavy discharge into the Cauvery, which cuts across the city near Srirangam, and divert excess flow into the Coleroon, which is essentially a flood carrier.

Twenty-six of the 41 shutters on the barrage are now being repaired with a financial assistance of Rs. 4.27 crore sanctioned by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) from the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.

The other 15 shutters were repaired a couple of years ago, also with funds sanctioned by the NABARD. That was the first time that a major repair of the shutters was taken up at the Upper Anicut. The barrage was built in 1977 and no major repairs were carried out till then.

The shutters have corroded heavily, especially on their bottom, affecting the regulatory system.

The PWD had appointed a consultant and also taken technical guidance from of the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi.

The corroded bottom portion of the shutters are being cut and replaced with new metal sheets. Based on the CECRI recommendation, the shutters are being subjected to metal blasting to remove the rust.

The process involves air blasting at high pressure to remove rust. Zinc aluminium and epoxy coatings are given to the shutters

The roller box assembly, hoist assembly, gearbox assembly, and guiding channels are being overhauled under the project to keep them in a state of readiness.

New “limit switches” are being fixed to prevent the shutters hitting the river bed and getting damaged. PWD sources said the work would be completed within 20 days well ahead of the irrigation season.