Tamil Nadu

Miscreants damage sluice gate of lake in village near Vandavasi

A flooded farm in Marudadu village near Vandavasi as a result of the water from the lake’s damaged sluice gate.

A flooded farm in Marudadu village near Vandavasi as a result of the water from the lake’s damaged sluice gate. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Miscreants damaged the lower portion of the sluice gate of the lake at Marudadu village, near Vandavasi, in Tiruvannamalai on Friday, leading to waterlogging in the surrounding farmlands. After eight hours of hard labour, the damaged portion was plugged with 580 sandbags, preventing further inundation of the farmlands in the surrounding villages on Saturday.

Officials of Public Works Department (PWD), who worked in coordination with the district administration to fix the gate, said around 10 p.m. on Friday, Collector B. Murugesh got an alert about the breach of water from the lake after miscreants reportedly damaged the lower portion of the sluice gate. They had reportedly wanted to fish in the discharged water.

The lake was auctioned by the district administration for fishing. However, despite the searing heat, the water level in the lake had not reduced drastically, causing the miscreants to damage one of the sluice gates, the officials said. “Stern action will be taken against such damage to public property. Crop damage will be assessed in the affected area,” Mr. Murugesh told The Hindu.

As a result, water leaked from the damaged sluice gate and flooded over 300 acres of agricultural land, mostly paddy and sugar cane, in Marudadu and Kadaisikulam villages. After news of the incident spread, farmers blocked the Melmaruvathur Main Road in Vandavasi for an hour and dispersed after revenue officials, led by V. Muruganatham, tahsildar (Vandavasi), and the police pacified them.

At 5.40 a.m. on Saturday, a team 60 workers, officials and farmers worked together to stop the water seepage.

At present, the lake covers 659 acres, irrigating 543 acres of agricultural land in Vandavasi taluk. The waterbody is the second biggest lake in the district, which has a total of 600 PWD maintained irrigation tanks.

The second of the three sluice gates was damaged, especially at its floor (2.5 feet deep). As part of the makeshift repair work, 580 sand bags, weighing around 19 tonnes, were used to block the leak. Each sand bag weighed around 30 kg. The work was completed by 1.30 p.m.

“Around 90% of seepage has been arrested. We will monitor the situation for the next few days,” said V. Babu, Junior Engineer, PWD (Irrigation), Vandavasi.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2022 7:32:16 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/miscreants-damage-sluice-gate-of-lake-in-village-near-vandavasi/article65470092.ece