The Deshiya Karshaka Samjam has urged the State government to reconstruct the breached portion of the Moolathara dam-cum-regulator and bring down its bed level.
The dam, which breached on November 8, 2009, is an important part of the inter-State Parambikulam Aliyar Project, which provides water to irrigate 40,000 acres of paddy fields under the Chitturpuzha irrigation project.
“An unscientific increase of the bed level to two metres during 1995-96 resulted in the breach in heavy inflow of water from Tamil Nadu two ago,” Muthalathode Mani, general secretary of the organisation, said in a statement here on Monday.
The heavy inflow was a result of the release of water from the Aliyar dam during heavy rain in Tamil Nadu.
Mr. Mani said a “guide wall” constructed at a cost of Rs.25 lakh as a temporary measure for distribution of water for irrigation through the right bank canal of the dam was leaking, causing anxiety about its safety.
The “guide wall” was constructed in anticipation of the reconstruction of the breached portion of the dam-cum-regulator. But the government had not taken steps for the work. If something happened to the “guide wall,” the entire water distribution system of the Chitturpuzha irrigation project would be affected.
He said that without reconstructing the breached portion, there was no way to control the floodwater and excess water released from the Aliyar dam, which came directly to Moolathara.
Mr. Mani said the dam had 13 shutters to let out floodwater, but now only two were functional. The bed level was raised under political pressure to provide water to the Kozhinjampara area. But water could be supplied there without doing so. So the bed level should be brought down to the original level to ensure the safety of the dam and distribution of water for irrigation.
But the apathy of the State government, particularly of the Water Resources Department, in repairing the dam would cost farmers and the State dear. Because of it, the State lost 7.25 tmcft of water it used to get annually from the Parambikulam Aliyar Project for the Chitturpuzha irrigation scheme in the past four years. Kerala's share of water released from the Aliyar dam under the inter-State project agreement could not be stored in the Meenkara and the Chulliyar dams and the check dams. This had caused a big loss to farmers in the past four paddy-cultivating seasons.
Keywords: Moolathara dam