Chennai

Unpolluted stretch of Cooum to get another check dam

Work on structure in Tiruvallur district to begin this month

An unpolluted stretch of the Cooum in Tiruvallur district is set to get its fifth check dam.

Work on the new check dam in Pudumavilangai village is expected to begin this month and will help recharge the water table.

The 72-km-long river, which branches out near Kesavaram anicut, Vellore district, is pristine until it reaches the urban stretches near Chennai. In an effort to save water that drains into the sea, the Water Resources Department has planned to construct a check dam, a wall-like structure across the river, to help store floodwater.

The river has one check dam in Putlur village, between Kesavaram anicut and Korattur anicut, in Tiruvallur district. The new check dam will come up about 12 km downstream the Kesavaram anicut. WRD officials said a check dam would be constructed at a height of 2.25 m, across the 100-m-wide river.

“We plan to raise the flood banks to convert it into a riverine reservoir and ensure water stagnation for a distance of 2 km, on the upstream portion of the structure,” said an official.

Water table to improve

Once the ₹7.80-crore project is completed, residents from surrounding villages, including Agaram, Kavankolathur and Kadambathur, will have enough water to cultivate paddy and sugarcane.

Moreover, the water table, at a depth of 4-5 m, will improve.

According to officials, excess water stored through the new check dam in Pudumavilangai village will be diverted to neighbouring lakes in Kesavanallur, Agaram and Kadambathur, through supply channels that branch out from the Cooum.

This will be constructed upstream the Korattur anicut, which was damaged during the 2015 floods. Built in 1876, the anicut, located in Jamin Korattur, is vital in regulating excess floodwater in the Cooum, to the Chembarambakkam lake.

“We have submitted a proposal to the State government, seeking approval to reconstruct the damaged anicut,” the official added.

The Cooum has two more check dams in Kannapalayam and Paruthipattu, near Avadi, before it reaches the urban areas in Chennai.

The department plans to complete the construction of the check dam in a year.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 7:59:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/unpolluted-stretch-of-cooum-to-get-another-check-dam/article30579667.ece

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