Tamil Nadu

Check dams across Palar to help recharge groundwater


One of the structures will help augment water supply to city

The long-pending demand of residents of Kancheepuram district for a check dam across the Palar river may soon become a reality. The Water Resources Department (WRD) is expected to begin work to build one at Esoor-Vallipuram in January. This will be the first of seven such structures in the district.

The Palar sees flow for just a month every year. However, according to the WRD, the river has enormous potential for groundwater recharge. The Lower Palar sub-basin has an anicut, constructed in 1868 near Kaveripakkam, and a sub-surface dyke in Palur village to augment groundwater. “There is a great need for check dams across the river to conserve water. Such structures would help groundwater recharge and improve irrigation and sustain drinking water supply through wells during drought years,” said an official.

Storage potential

These structures are expected to have a storage capacity of 5,000 million cubic feet and the potential to supply nearly 345 million litres a day (mld), the official added.

The check dam at Esoor-Vallipuram in Madurantakam taluk would be 694 m long and 1.50 m high.

Officials said the check dam, with a potential to store 740 million cubic feet of water, would sustain supply to a minimum of seven villages. It is expected to augment water supply by 30 mld. The ₹33.26 crore project would benefit 654 hectares of agricultural land.

“We have been demanding this check dam for a decade now. It would benefit nearly 25 villages where the water table is at a depth of 30 feet. If the structure was built before the 2015 floods, it would have catered to needs for five years. Surplus water from Kolavai lake must be diverted to the Palar,” said R. Murali Mohan, secretary, Maduranthagam Cooperative Sugar Mills Farmers Association.

Chennai to benefit

Similarly, the nearly three-decade-old proposal for Vayalur check dam has also been revived.

The project would also include ₹33 crore in funds from the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam.

The check dam on the tail-end of the Palar river would not only address seawater intrusion but also also augment Chennai’s water supply by 100 mld.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 8:13:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/check-dams-across-palar-to-help-recharge-groundwater/article25830900.ece

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