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PWD resumes water release in canals

Damage:Work in progress at the regulator across the Coleroon near Tiruchi on Wednesday.M. Srinath

After a gap of 25 days, the Public Works Department (PWD) has resumed release of water into the Pullambadi, Peruvalai and Ayyan canals for irrigation in parts of Tiruchi and Ariyalur districts.

Though water was released into the canals from Mukkombu regulator shortly after the opening of water from the Mettur dam in July, the PWD could not sustain the release in the canals since the collapse of a portion of the regulator across the Kollidam on August 22.

Until that day, the PWD had released 400 cusecs of water each into the Pullambadi, Peruvalai and Ayyan canals. The uncontrolled flow through the damaged portion of the regulator and formation of sand shoals on the upper reach of the Cauvery at Mukkombu had changed the water course from the southern arm of the Kollidam, forcing the officials to form ‘korambu’ (small bund of sand) to direct the flow towards the canals. Four floating excavators were engaged to form the ‘korambu’ for about a week.

With the formation of ‘korambu,’ officials have resumed water release into Pullambadi, Peruvalai and Ayyan canals, which irrigate about one lakh acres at Mannachanallur, Musiri and Lalgudi taluks in Tiruchi district and Ariyalur district.

On Wednesday, 19,453 cusecs of water was realised at Mukkombu. Of this, 18,153 cusecs was released into the Cauvery. Pullambadi and Peruvalai canals carried 700 cusecs (350 cusecs each) as against the carrying capacity of 400 cusecs. About 600 cusecs was flowing in the Kollidam through gaps of groyne. Under normal circumstances, Pullambadi, Peruvalai and Ayyan canals carry 1200 cusecs (400 each). But, the PWD officials maintained that it was not possible to release water beyond 700 cusecs after the formation of groyne along the damaged portion of the regulator.

“The current situation does not allow us to release water into the canals to their maximum capacity. However, we continue to take steps to increase water supply in the canals,” said a senior official of the PWD .

He said that it had been decided to follow turn system for release of water in Peruvalai and Ayyan canals. About 350 cusecs would be released on turn basis once in three days. However, Pullambadi canal would carry 350 cusecs on all days.

Collector K. Rajamani told reporters that the PWD officials had been taking all possible steps to release adequate water to ensure that it reached the tail-end areas. The work on plugging the breach by forming groyne and sand ring wall across the Kollidam has been completed. Strengthening of the groyne had been undertaken ahead of north east monsoon.


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