The State government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 635.54 crore under the Flood Management Programme for taking up permanent flood protection works in the four districts of Thanjavaur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvallur and Cuddalore, according to K. Dhanavel, Secretary, Public Works Department.
After inspecting the Veeranam tank, the Velliangal Odai and the Paravanar, along with Collector P. Seetharman and District Revenue Officer S. Natarajan, he told presspersons that the State used to suffer heavy flood damage during the north-east monsoon every year, particularly during November and December.
In the current rainy season, almost all major dams, tanks, ponds and canals were full and some were overflowing. Therefore, to prevent the recurring losses on account of floods, the government had earmarked a major part of the funds, Rs. 375.90 crore, for standardisation and strengthening of the banks of the Kollidam in two phases.
The first phase would be executed from the head of the Grand Anicut to the Lower Anicut in Thanjavur district and the second phase from the Lower Anicut to the sea front in Cuddalore district.
Mr. Dhanavel said that to protect the Cuddalore and Panruti towns from swollen rivers such as the Pennaiyar, the Gedilam, the Uppanar, the Paravanar and the South Malatter, a sum of Rs. 68.41 crore had been set aside.
Comprehensive flood management works in the Vellar basin, comprising Cuddalore and Villupuram ditricts, would be taken up at a cost of Rs. 164.32 crore. Protective measures along the Araniyar would be taken up at a cost of Rs. 12.41 crore, both on the upstream and downstream of the A.N. Kuppam anicut, and, from the downstream of the Lakshmipuram anicut to Pulicat creek in Tiruvallur district.
Mr. Dhanavel said that protective measures would be put in place to the Kosasthalaiyar from Napalayam to the sea mouth in Tiruvallur ditrict at a cost of Rs. 14.50 crore.
All these works would be completed before March 2012, he said.
He also noted that water level in the Veeranam tank had been kept at certain height with a view to meeting the requirements of ayacutdars and drinking water needs of Chennai.
However, residents in the Veeranam area as well as farmers had expressed an opinion that during the rainy season, the storage could be kept at a reasonable level to avert floods.
Their views would be technically examined by experts, he said.
The damaged shutters in the water sources would also repaired soon, Mr. Dhanavel added.