Begin typing your search...
Despite round-the-clock ops, flow in Kollidam a challenge for workers
A day after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami visited the collapsed Kollidam regulator at Mukkombu here, a team of PWD officials is camping at the spot and overseeing the work that is under way to arrest the flow temporarily. The work is expected to be completed within four days.
A 500-strong workers’ team first raised a huge bund using sand bags close to the collapsed regulator. The bund would serve to arrest the heavy flow into Kollidam and divert it into the Cauvery for irrigation.
PWD officials have been camping at Mukkombu to make temporary arrangements to prevent water from entering Kollidam. A section of labourers is filling sands in bags and stitching them, while another group moved the bags into the river.
Officials have also planned to increase the strength of the team and finish the work within the stipulated time. A source said that officials have decided to establish sand piles at a spot above Mukkombu. This would help reducing the quantum flowing into Kollidam and divert it into the Cauvery. Simultaneously, they have been working on a war-footing to complete the task within the deadline.
Tiruchy PWD officials, led by chief engineer Senthil Kumar, also inspected the spot where the proposed new regulator would be constructed. “Since the flow would be occasional in Kollidam, the work will be completed within the deadline,” assured Senthil Kumar.
Spl team deployed for workers’ safety
District collector K Rajamani, after inspecting the ongoing works in Mukkombu Upper Anaicut on Saturday, said, “The temporary maintenance works will be carried out round the clock.”
He further explained that though the damaged portion is 108 metres, maintenance would be carried out for a distance of upto 220 metres. Special float machines and other construction machinery were being brought to Mukkombu for the work.
He ensured that considering the workers’ safety, disaster management and special medical teams have been stationed near the work site at Mukkombu. .
Weak bridges to go
Sources said that the government has decided to demolish the dams and bridges that have crossed their lifespan and become weak. Keeping in line with this, officials conducted an inspection of old structures in their respective regions.
After the filed study, officials have identified eight bridges that have turned weak in Kumbakonam. “We have sent letters to the offices of highway, telecom and drinking water service to remove their lines to facilitate the removal of the identified bridges,” said Mariappan, Kumbakonam Highways department engineer. Before the start of the demolition process, the Highways department would stop vehicular movement by rising walls across the bridges.
Forum to seek court help for study of dams’ strength
Tamil Nadu rivers retrieval movement has decided to approach the court to direct the State government to study the stability of the existing dams and instruct to replace them, said Gurusamy, coordinator of the movement, on Saturday.
Speaking to the reporters, Gurusamy, who is also an advocate, said that it is time to draft a plan to link all rivers from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as per the geographical conditions. “These States should not wait for the Centre to plan a project but these four states should come out with a common idea and draft a new regulation and materialize the decision,” he suggested.
Stating that the southern States witness drought every year, he said that this has made water management a difficult task. “Mukkombu regulator was constructed by Sir Arthur Cotton, who had not only constructed dams in Tamil Nadu alone but also in Andhra Pradesh. He had constructed over 45 dams, including the dams across Krishna and Godavari. All the dams still stand strong but only in Tamil Nadu the regulator collapsed.
Hence all dams in the State should be inspected and the root cause for disasters should be figured,” Gurusamy explained. He further charged that the collapse took place due to poor maintenance. Claiming that Mukkombu was not maintained since 1966, Gurusamy alleged that the digging of river sand was also a reason for the collapse.
Meanwhile, the movement planned to approach the Apex Court to provide a detailed draft plan report on the protection of the existing rivers in the State.
Stating that there were as many as 38,421 tanks in the State, Gurusamy said, “Many had gone extinct. Tamil Nadu rivers retrieval movement has also planned to approach the court for directing the State government to study the stability of the dams existing and give a detailed report on that.”