Vaigai dam waters to be released for river wetting

Baked: A parched Vaigai riverbed in Madurai, as seen on Thursday

Baked: A parched Vaigai riverbed in Madurai, as seen on Thursday  

It is aimed at recharging infiltration wells sunk on riverbed

A total of 216 million cubic feet (mcft) of water from Vaigai dam will be released for wetting of the river, say Public Works Department (PWD) officials. This move will help in recharging the infiltration wells sunk on the riverbed and help in addressing the issue of shortage of drinking water, they say.

Executive Engineer of PWD (Periyar-Vaigai Basin) T. Subramanian said that water would be released for three days from May 25.

Every year, around 216 mcft of water used to be released for the grand event of Lord Kallazhagar entering the Vaigai river as part of Chithirai festival. This used to indirectly recharge infiltration wells that cater to the drinking water needs of several areas of Madurai and neighbouring districts. However, this year, water was not released as the event was cancelled due to lockdown imposed to contain COVID-19 pandemic.

“Following the requests of various administrative bodies and a government order, water reserved for the festival will be released for river wetting,” he said.

A Corporation official said that the civic body supplies 122.66 mld of drinking water through two drinking water pipelines, Cauvery Drinking Water Integrated Scheme and from riverbed sources. “Since the middle of February, there has been around 32.2 mld reduction in water sourced from these sources, making it difficult to supply sufficient water to tail-end areas,” he said.

The wetting of Vaigai river will help in recharging infiltration wells sunk at Manalur, Thachampathu, Kochadai and Melakkal, and provide additional eight million litres a day (mld) for the Corporation, said City Engineer S. Arasu. “This will help in addressing water shortage for the next two months to an extent," he said.

Other than the Corporation, this move will also recharge the infiltration wells sunk by Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board, said a PWD official.

The official added that even after the release of water from the dam, there would be sufficient water to provide drinking water for the next two months. "Currently, we are providing 60 cusecs of water to Madurai Corporation and 12 cusecs of water to Theni Allinagaram, Andipatti and Vadugapatti. We can continue this for the next two months. By early June we are anticipating the onset of south-west monsoon and good increase of water at Mullaperiyar dam,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 6:34:16 AM |

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