WRD begins major overhaul of shutters of Cauvery barrage at Mukkombu

The barrage, designed for a maximum discharge of 1,80,000 cusecs, helps in the irrigation of nearly 12 lakh acres in the Delta region

Updated - May 11, 2024 04:24 pm IST

Published - May 11, 2024 11:54 am IST - TIRUCHI

Work underway on repairing the shutters of the barrage across River Cauvery at Mukkombu near Tiruchi

Work underway on repairing the shutters of the barrage across River Cauvery at Mukkombu near Tiruchi | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Water Resources Department (WRD) has taken up repairs to the shutters of the barrage across the Cauvery river at Mukkombu (Upper Anicut), near Tiruchi. WRD sources said that this was the first time that such as comprehensive repair of the shutters have been taken up since its commissioning in 1977.

The Mukkombu barrage is located between Elamanur and Vathalai in Tircuhi district and it is from here that the Kollidam river, essentially a flood carrier, branches off from the Cauvery. The barrage across Cauvery running for a length of 594.30 metres was built between 1974 and 19777. It has been designed for a maximum discharge of 1,80,000 cusecs. Nearly 12 lakh acres in the Delta region are irrigated through the barrage.

Repairs have been taken up at all the 41 shutters of the barrage at an estimated cost of ₹17 crore, WRD sources told The Hindu. The rehabilitation work, underway since February, would be completed before the end of May, well ahead of the Mettur Dam opening for the irrigation season, the sources added.

Each of the 41 vents have steel shutters which are 12 metres wide. Due to continuous operation over the years, the barrage shutters have fallen into disrepair. According to WRD sources, the roller wheels in the shutters often got struck while being lifted up or rolled down, making it difficult to operate them. Some of the concrete counter weights are also damaged and are prone to breakages when the shutters are raised or lowered. The lifting chain of the shutters, and the rubber seals are damaged too. Besides, the centre hoist cover and the chain sprocket covers of some vents and parts of the shutter skin plates are corroded. All these issues are being addressed now, the sources said.

Given the importance of the barrage for irrigation and regulating flood discharge flowing down towards the Grant Anicut, it was essential that the shutters were in good condition, officials pointed out.

The sources also indicated that a proposal to repair the damaged apron downstream the barrage, at an estimated cost of ₹63 crore, has already been submitted to the government and is expected to be sanctioned after the election model code of conduct is lifted.

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