CHENNAI: As a pilot project for intra-linking of rivers in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday inaugurated a new barrage across Cauvery river near Mayanur village in Karur district, built at a cost of `254.45 crore. This facility would help store 1.05 tmcft of water and enhance groundwater level in the region.
The multipurpose project is constructed 250 metre downstream the existing Kattalai bed regulator at Mayanur.
Initially, in 2009 the project was estimated to cost `165 crore and planned to be completed by 2011. However, it got revised at various stages and finally touched `254.45 crore.
A two-lane road upon the barrage structure connects the villages on either side - Seelapillaipudur on left bank and Mayanur on the right bank of the river. This, almost reduces the distance by over 45 km. Besides, the refurbished park here could turn the barrage into a tourist spot in the coming days.
The total length of the barrage measures 1233 metre with a storage depth of 4.90 metre. It contains 86 vents and 12 scour vents, which are capable of discharging maximum flood of 4,63,000 cusecs. It could store water up to 1.05 TMC feet. As many as four irrigation canals are headed from the Mayanur bed regulator viz., Kattalai high Level canal, Krishnarayapuram canal, New Kattalai high level canal and South bank canal.
The barrage links the southern rivers such as Ariyar, Agniyar, South Vellar, Manimuthar, Vaigai, Giruthamal and Gundar. The purpose of the barrage is to divert the flow of excess water during floods to these southern rivers, through proposed man-made canals, in order to avert water being flown into the Bay of Bengal.
PWD officials told Express that with the commencement of the Mayanur barrage, water flow in the four existing canals will be regularised and would improve irrigation facilities.
Meanwhile, Cauvery delta farmers welfare Association, president V Rajaram (76) said it was a dream come true for the farming community. In 1950s, he had worked as a supervisor for the construction of the Kattalai bed regulators and new Kattalai high level canals that take off from Mayanur. “Those days, we (farmers and PWD officials) were speaking about construction of a big structure with shutters to divert water regularly to the canals to facilitate the irrigation round the year. And here their dreams have come true,” he said.
According to AV Gopaladesigan, a farmers’ association president, the two-way lane would facilitate growth of trade. When the Tiruchy-Salem buses are routed through the barrage, it would benefit people of Karur, Kulithalai, Namakkal, Salem and Tiruchy. He also called for similar barrages in various places up to Kollidam.
In Chennai, Finance and PWD Miniser O Panneerselvam and top officials were present while at Mayanur, collector S Jayandhi, Krishnarayapuram MLA Kamaraj, farmers’ leaders, PWD officials and public attended the inaugural function.