Madurai

Poor storage, non-functioning shutters plague Anaikuttam dam

Collector R. Kannan inspects Anaikuttam dam in Virudhunagar district on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Handout

Though north-east monsoon is active over the region, Anaikuttam dam, which serves as one of the major drinking water sources for Virudhunagar town, is waiting to be repaired.

The catchment area is experiencing good rainfall but the dam started to get water only in the last three days. As against its maximum storage of 125.75 mcft, the dam has only 7.58 mcft of water.

After having dead storage for several days, the water level improved marginally to 3.7 metres only on Sunday due to the rains.

The dam used to supply two million litres of water daily to the town.

However, there are serious operational problem in its three-decade old shutters. The shutters, simply, cannot be operated.

“A couple of years ago, when the shutters were raised to maintain the water at the optimum level, the engineers could not lower it to stop the release of water. Consequently, the entire water got drained,” an engineer said.

On Saturday, Virudhunagar Collector R. Kannan, along with Sivakasi Sub-Collector C. Dinesh Kumar and Public Works Department officials inspected the dam.

The officials were trying to plug the minor leaks in the nine shutters. The PWD officials were highly cautious about lifting the shutters as their railings have developed technical snag. “They are trying their best to make it functional,” Mr. Kannan said.

The Collector said that the district badly needs rain as most of the dams were yet to get even the minimum storage. Good rainfall would help the district to mitigate water shortage during the summer, he said.

The dam has its catchment areas in Western Ghats that flows through Pilavakkal Periyar dam. “After filling up 40 tanks downstream Pilavakkal Periyar dam, the water would reach Anaikuttam dam,” Executive Engineer (Lower Vaippar), K. Gurusamy said.

The PWD has already sent a proposal to renovate the nine shutters and construct three new spillways for maintaining the water level in the dam at a cost of ₹23.5 crore.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 3:25:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/poor-storage-non-functioning-shutters-plague-anaikuttam-dam/article33206408.ece

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