The aqueduct, a unique structure in terms of design and size in the State, was conceived as a regulatory arrangement to prevent flooding of low-lying colonies because of overflow of the Kudamuritti and Uyyakondan rivers during monsoon seasons. The structure was completed only by June end.
The structure is an important component of the Rs. 253.71-crore flood prevention project executed in Tiruchi, Karur, and Ariyalur districts by the Public Works Department in the wake of the 2005 floods. A box-like concrete structure, the aqueduct runs for 360 metres and has a capacity to carry about 700 cusecs of water.
The construction of the aqueduct, which doubles up as a bridge linking the bunds of the Uyyakondan and Koraiyar rivers, and the laying of roads along the river have made the Puthur Weir accessible to city residents. Many residents, including walkers and nature lovers, throng the verdant spot for a whiff of fresh air.
This has proved to be a headache for the Public Works Department officials as many youths, who bathe, also jump over the parapet built around the entry point to the aqueduct. Asked about the possible steps that could be taken in view of Friday’s incident, a senior PWD official said safety arrangements were already in place.
“The current in front of the aqueduct is bound to be high as the water flows into a narrow structure from a much wider canal (Koraiyar). That is why we have built high parapet around to prevent access to people. Grating arrangement has been done some 30 metres away to filter out big objects or waste from entering the aqueduct. In view of the continuous movement of people at the spot, policemen patrol the area and warn youths. It is unfortunate that some youths still tend to go near the entry point of the aqueduct throwing caution to the wind,” he said. Local people suggest that warning sign boards could be placed near the aqueduct.