With rain continues unabated, the Ponnaniyaru Dam nestled amid scenic and lush hills bordering Karur and Tiruchi districts in Kadavur region, has been receiving copious inflows, boosting the storage of the dam.

However, this tourist site has been languishing under the apathetic attitude of authorities though some improvement was done in August 2008. The Department of Tourism and the Karur district administration had spent Rs. 25 lakh to refurbish the children's park and establish boating facilities there.

Pedal boats were purchased and a boat house came up at the dam site. The sprawling water front, though not all the original water is spreading over 313 acres. Three new fibre boats were purchased, but they have been gathering rust on the bank since then. One boat that is occasionally used for inspection by the Public Works Department is tethered on the water front, with the outboard motor being removed and kept in the office custody.

There are six daily wage workers at the dam site, down from 45 personnel once. The meagre staff fail to manage visitors to the park and the dam. The PWD has taken pains to maintain the dam.

A few years ago, three transport services were operated daily from Manapparai to the dam site, but they were withdrawn. In the absence of transport, the three-km distance of the dam from the Kadavur-Vaiyyampatti road deters visitors. A sum of Rs. 10 lakh was spent on developing the link road from the highway to the dam site.

The PWD inspection bungalow is wilting under the nature's fury. Any attempt by the State government to lure tourists to Tiruchi and Karur to include Ponnaniyaru Dam in their itinerary is the need of the hour.

Keywords: Ponnaniyaru Dam