State to desilt Vaigai dam at a cost of Rs. 600 crore

The Madras High Court Bench here was informed on Thursday that the State government has accepted a Detailed Project Report submitted by the Public Works Department in collaboration with a central water agency for desilting Vaigai dam in Theni district in four stages on an total outlay of Rs.600 crore and that the first stage of the desilting works would begin shortly at a cost of Rs.149 crore.

Justices S. Nagamuthu and M.V. Muralidaran recorded the submission made by Special Government Pleader M. Govindan who said that and closed a public interest litigation petition filed by K.K. Ramesh, Managing Trustee of Centre for Public Interest Litigation, a private body, seeking a direction to desilt the dam on the ground that around 20 feet of the dam’s total height of 71 feet was filled with silt thereby crippling its storage capacity.

It was on February 4, 2014, that Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani directed the State government to consider the plea for desilting the dam. Thereafter, a Government Order was passed on September 22, 2014, for preparation of the DPR at a cost of Rs.1.45 crore and the work was entrusted to Water and Power Consultancy Service (WAPCOS), a Central public sector undertaking under the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

An agreement was signed with WAPCOS on November 12, 2014, on the basis of the G.O., and experts from the organisation visited the dam on December 3, 2014, for reconnaisance survey and collecting other details.

A four-member team from WAPCOS prepared an Inception Report and submitted it to the Chief Engineer (Design, Research and Construction Support), Water Resources Organisaiton, PWD, on February 16, 2015, for scrutiny.

The Inception Report was approved by PWD’s Technical Advisory Committee on June 29, 2015. Only thereafter, WAPCOS prepared a DPR which was also scrutinised by the technical advisory committee on January 20 and March 24 this year.

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