Special Correspondent

Keynote address on unique rubber dam presented

The rubber dam across the Janjhavati is the biggest in AsiaIt will utilise water for ayacut till the Orissa Government accords concurrence

VISAKHAPATNAM: The local chapter of the Institution of Engineers (India) celebrated Sir Arthur Cotton's birth anniversary on Monday by arranging a talk on the rubber dam installed across the Janjhavati in Vizianagaram district, first of its kind in Andhra Pradesh and the biggest in Asia.

Superintending Engineer of Bobbili Irrigation Circle (Vizianagaram district) M.B. Rajendra Prasad presented a keynote address on the rubber dam. When the dam proposed across the Janjhavati could not materialise due to various reasons, the rubber dam was thought of by the Government to utilise water for ayacut till the Orissa Government accorded concurrence.

An order was placed with the Hydro-Construct of Austria for approximately Rs. 3.70 crores (6.5 lakh Euros) in February 2005. It was planned to fix the rubber dam to a height of three metres to store water up to 125.5 metres in the reservoir without causing submergence in the Orissa side of the river, and to irrigate an ayacut of 9,000 acres for kharif season of 2006. The dam was fixed and was dedicated to the nation on January 1, 2006.

The dam was installed on a concrete plate. Its size would be raised or reduced with the help of water pumped into it.

Mr. Rajendra Prasad discussed various technical aspects of the rubber dam. He felt that the cost of the rubber dam could be reduced drastically in the shape of transport charges, custom duty, etc., if the technology was developed indigenously. Former Chief Engineer (irrigation), S. Satyanarayana, secretary of local chapter of IE(I) K. Bindhu Mohan, committee member K. Poornachander, spoke on Sir Cotton.