Kerala puts rubber check dams on the fast track
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid debates over the ability of concrete reservoirs and check dams to withstand floods, the government has fast-paced its efforts to introduce rubber check dams in the state.
The proposed project, to be executed with the technical expertise of the Thane-based Indian Rubber Manufacturers Research Association (IRMRA), will be supervised by a nine-member committee chaired by the Revenue and Disaster Management Principal Secretary.
It is learnt that the Revenue Department plans to set up four rubber check dams in varying terrains including highland, midland and lowland. “Compared to a conventional check dam, a rubber check dam could be used for water conservation, flood control and regulating the flow of water in the stream,” said a Revenue Department officer.
Since the height of rubber dam could be increased or decreased as per requirement, it will help in effective water management, the officer said.
The state government first conceptualised the project during the drought in 2017. “The drought a year ago and this year’s devastating floods have stressed the need for an effective water management system. The rubber check dams will be effective against flood control and drought mitigation. It will also be cost-effective as it has high flexibility and durability,” the officer said.
However, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority member secretary Sekhar L Kuriakose said the project is still in its initial stage as IRMRA has to approve the agreement for constructing rubber check dams in the state.
The government last week had directed the KSDMA member secretary to enter into an agreement with IRMRA to prepare a detailed project report for establishing four rubber check dams.
IRMRA director Kasilingam Rajkumar told Express the initial discussions were on and a team from IRMRA will conduct a site visit before starting work on the project proposal.
‘Convene Assembly panel on irrigation’
T’Puram: In view of the damage caused in the floods, the Assembly subject committee on irrigation should be convened urgently, said MLA P T Thomas. Panel member Thomas wrote to panel chairman and Water Resources minister Mathew T Thomas raising the demand. In his letter, the MLA pointed out the opening of dams without sufficient warnings added to the severity of the floods. Hence, the reasons should be discussed to avoid issues in the future.