Infrastructure

Poondi dam doubles as causeway

A 146-metre-long causeway was constructed last year to divert traffic from the dam, but is still unopened. Photo: K. Pichumani

A 146-metre-long causeway was constructed last year to divert traffic from the dam, but is still unopened. Photo: K. Pichumani

The Satyamurthy Sagar dam of Poondi reservoir continues to be used as a thoroughfare by residents of neighbouring villages despite an alternate route created a year ago to safeguard the dam.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) built a 146-metre-long causeway to divert traffic from the 69-year-old concrete masonry dam.

The Rs. 2.86-crore facility, constructed across Kosasthalaiyar river, nearly 350 metre downstream of the reservoir, was completed last year. However, it is still waiting to be opened to traffic. The approach road to the facility is narrow and a damaged culvert on the road has not been repaired yet.

Residents of over 20 villages use the dam that links Poondi with villages such as Rangapuram, Ariyathur, Thomur and Nambakkam. On an average, about 500 vehicles, including school and MTC buses, ply the dam every day.

Officials of WRD said: “Local panchayat authorities are delaying blacktopping the road and repairing the culvert. We are preparing estimates to carry out the works with available funds to divert ever-increasing traffic to the causeway.”

Residents said that whenever traffic was stopped on the dam during heavy rains, they had to travel through other areas such as Ramanjeri, or take a detour of over 20 km through Tiruttani Road.

Officials said residents could use the causeway even during rains as it is constructed two metres above the level of the riverbed. “We will have to restrict vehicle movement on the dam. Constant plying of vehicles may weaken it,” said an official.

The long-pending work to repair four of the 16 shutters in the reservoir will also be started soon. At present, Poondi reservoir has 345 million cubic feet (mcft) of water against its capacity of 3,231 mcft.


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Printable version | May 26, 2022 4:04:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-infra/poondi-dam-doubles-as-causeway/article6668381.ece