Madurai

Farmers blame PWD for poor upkeep of Sothuparai dam shutters

Water gushing out from the damaged shutters at Sothuparai dam near Periakulam in Theni district.  

The poor upkeep of the shutters in the Sothuparai dam near Periakulam in the district by the PWD engineers has resulted in the depletion of water, farmers charged.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the farmers said that the widespread rain in the catchment areas had led to rise in the storage level of the dam. The farmers said that over 5,000 acres of cultivable land depended on the water from Sothuparai dam and many habitations got drinking water from here.

The Sothuparai dam, one of the biggest in the region, next to Periyar dam, has a maximum storage capacity of 126.28 feet.

About two days ago, when the inflow was steady, water level in the dam had reached the maximum level. Since continuous rain was witnessed, the engineers had planned to discharge the inflow in full to the river. However, the shutters appeared to have not worked properly. As a result, at least five feet of water may have gone waste into the river due to official apathy, the farmers claimed.

Attempts to repair the shutters failed and when the issue was taken up with the senior officers, they immediately organised manpower and the faulty shutters were repaired on a war-footing, a senior official said.

According to the PWD engineers, the storage at 6 a.m. on Wednesday was 120.96 feet (max level 126.28 ft).

The farmers appealed to the Collector H. Krishnanunni to direct the PWD engineers to keep a vigil and ensure that such mistakes did not recur and urged him to check the shutters in other dams.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 2:41:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/farmers-blame-pwd-for-poor-upkeep-of-sothuparai-dam-shutters/article34542879.ece

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