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Cauvery, Coleroon remain in spate

The heavy flow in the Coleroon has damaged a pier of a bridge built about 90 years ago.

With the Cauvery and the Coleroon continuing to be in spate due to heavy discharge from dams in the western region, the State government, which has put all departments on high alert, has deputed one more senior IAS officer to monitor and supervise the preventive measures in Tiruchi and delta districts.

Pradeep Yadav, Principal Secretary, who has been asked to camp in Tiruchi, visited different vulnerable parts along the rivers on Friday.

There has been no let-up in discharge of surplus water from the Mettur dam in Salem district, Bhavani Sagar dam in Erode district and Amaravathi dam in Tirupur district. While about 1.70 lakh cusecs was released into the Cauvery from the Mettur dam on Friday evening, about 85,000 cusecs was discharged in the lower Bhavani river from the Bhavani Sagar dam. About, 5000 cusecs was released from the Amaravathi dam.

According to Public Works Department sources, a whopping 2.09 lakh cusecs was realised in the Cauvery at Mukkombu (upper anicut) at 5 p.m. To prevent ensure the safety of residents in Srirangam, which bore the brunt of 2005 flood, and other low-lying areas in the region, the authorities continued to step up discharge of surplus water from Mukkumbu into the Coleroon for the seventh consecutive day on Friday. The discharge into the Coleroon, which stood at 1,28 lakh on Thursday evening, was increased to 1.43 lakh at 5 pm on Friday. The discharge into the Cauvery (from Mukkumbu upper anicut) was scaled up to 65,000 cusecs from 55,000 cusecs.

Pier in danger

The heavy flow in the Coleroon has damaged a pier of the steel girder bridge built about 90 years ago. The bridge, now in disuse after the opening of a new bridge a few years ago, is facing the danger of collapse any time. A big crack that developed on the 18th pier due to heavy water current widened further on Friday. As a precautionary measure, the location has been cordoned off to prevent people from getting there.

Asked about the possibility of damage to the adjacent new bridge in the event of the collapse of the old bridge, Collector K. Rajamani, who inspected the damaged structure on Friday, told The Hindu that the Highways department was watching the bridge round-the-clock.

The concrete portion of a pumping station, operated by the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board at the middle of Coleroon, has also been damaged due to heavy flow. Banana plantations raised on about 300 acres in Thiruvalarcholai, Panayapuram and Kilikoodu have submerged in the water. Similarly, about 50 acres of banana plantation at Unniyur near Thottiam have been inundated.

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