Built during the British rule in 1872, the dam, which became known as Anaikattu, can supply water for about 4,972 acres of nearby farmlands. The dam also helps to recharge the groundwater level in about 50 surrounding villages and residents say that the water from borewells was not any less to processed mineral water.
During monsoon, the excess water of about 6 Thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) is drained to the sea, which can otherwise be used for agriculture. The long-pending request of the villagers has been that the height of the dam should be increased to 17 ft from 10 ft to save the excess water for
the dry period.
“While the repair works are on full-swing on the river bund, it would be better if authorities considered the villagers’ request to increase the height of the dam,” said Gajendran of Minjur.
However, due to the poor inflow of water for the past three years, seawater has seeped into groundwater and the water is becoming increasingly saline and unusable for farming as well as for domestic purposes. One of the major reasons for this, Gajendran said, is excessive sand mining on the riverbed close to the dam. “Sand has been mined to a depth of 20 feet at some places. If this monsoon sees heavy rain, it will cause damage to the dam,” he added.
When contacted, executive engineers at the water resources organisation of the Public Works Department said that they would look into the matter at the earliest.
Origin of Kosasthalaiyar
Tributaries from Nandi Hills, Ambasidurkam, Rahman Caves and Gowthamkuttai join to form Palar which flows for a length of 368 kilometres recharging the Kaveripakkam Lake at Arakkonam Taluk on its way. Excess water from this lake, Mahendravadi Lake, Arasankuppam Lake and Thakkal Lake reaches the dam at Kesavaram. Outflow from the dam and Ammapalli Dam joins a few other tributaries called Lava, Kusa and Nagariyaru thus forming Kosasthalaiyar river. After recharging the Poondi lake in Tiruvallur district, it then flows through Thamaraipakkam, Thirukandalam, Irulipattu, Vannipakkam, Vallur Dam, Idayanchavadi and Sadaiyankuppam before draining into Bay of Bengal via Ennore estuary.