Staff Reporter

Thanks to timely onset of monsoon

THENI: Even as the inflow into Periyar dam was nil, Public Works Department has stepped up the release of water to 500 cusecs on Sunday for irrigation of first crop of double cropping area spread over 14,707 acres in Cumbum valley that extended up to Veerapandi, eight km away from Theni. (Initially, 200 cusecs had been released from the dam.)

Storage level in the dam remained at 131.40 feet, thanks to timely on set of south west monsoon in Kerala and intermittent showers in its catchments and in the dam site. Storage in the dam was 5,048 mcft.

Meanwhile, the engineers have strengthened the bunds of temporary canal that took the dam water to Mullai Periyar River, to avoid any breach during heavy discharge from the dam.

Construction of check dam at head works of 18th canal project is in the finishing stage. Top PWD officials had visited the project spot recently and inspected the work. They also hoped that trial discharge in the canal could be possible in August.

Vaigai dam

Storage level fell to 62.50 feet, which was around 70 feet on June 1 in the Vaigai dam owing to release of huge quantum of water from the dam for irrigation of over 45,000 acres in Dindigul and Madurai districts.

With no inflow into the dam, storage level was 4,146 mcft only.

Except Periyar dam that recorded 2 mm rain, there was no rain in any parts of the district.

Meanwhile, TNEB engineers have kept the turbines at hydro electric power station in Lower Camp at Goodalur to generate power utilising huge discharge.

Power generation

At present, they have started generating 32 MW of power only, after adoption of new techniques. (Total power generating capacity of four turbines generators was 140 MW, 35 each using 1,600 cusecs of water discharged through four giant tubes.)

All the four turbines were completely paralysed in July 2007 owing to technical snag.

With no power generation at Lower Camp, PWD officials had struggled to withdraw water from the dam through pipes and solely depended on Iraichal Bridge to meet the total requirements for irrigation of crops in the valley.