Check dams across Palar to be ready by mid-August

The structures are coming up at Vayalur and Esoor-Vallipuram

July 31, 2019 05:06 am | Updated 05:06 am IST - CHENNAI

The demand for a  dam with subsurface dykes at Vayalur is nearly three decades old.

The demand for a dam with subsurface dykes at Vayalur is nearly three decades old.

The Palar river in Kancheepuram district will soon have two check dams to store floodwater. The water table is likely to improve significantly as works to construct the dams at Vayalur and Esoor-Vallipuram would be completed by mid-August.

The long-pending demand, dates back nearly three decades, to build a dam with subsurface dyke at Vayalur, which is only 3.6 km away from the sea, may be fulfilled in a couple of weeks.

While the river is expected to have a flow after a heavy rain spell, there has already been an improvement in the groundwater table in the neighbourhood of Vayalur, noted officials of the Water Resources Department, that is implementing the ₹32.50 crore project. It is being funded by Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.

The observation wells, which are being monitored by the department and IIT Madras, have indicated an increase in ground water level by 1.5 metre to 1.75 metre in the past two months. This is despite the lack of rainfall in the region.

“We have completed building dyke that acts as an underground barrier and controls groundwater flow. The river may not have a flow above the ground but it continues to have a subsurface flow. The dyke has helped retain groundwater,” said an official. Nearly 80% of the work has been completed so far. The check dam would come across 1,190 metre-long river at a height of 1.50 metre.

The Palar river now has an anicut in Kaveripakkam built in 1868 and another sub surface dyke in Palur village. Once completed, the structure in Vayalur is set to benefit 12 villages in the neighbourhood.

Similarly, the ₹33.36 crore project to build checkdam at Esoor-Vallipuram in Madurantakam taluk is also nearing completion.

The 1.50 metre high structure across the 694-metre-long river would help store nearly 740 million cubic feet every year. “We expect this structure to augment drinking water supply in surrounding villages by 30 million litres a day and support irrigation of nearly 654 hectares of land,” the official added.

These were among the seven check dams announced by the Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami to be constructed across Palar river to augment groundwater.

The department is awaiting sanction of funds to begin work on the other five check dams, including in Venkadapuram.

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