First-ever desilting of Mettur dam announced
By Express News Service | Published: 19th May 2017 04:02 AM |
COIMBATORE/SALEM: For the first time ever, Mettur dam that is the main repository of Cauvery, is going to be desilted. Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami made the announcement, saying work will commence as early as next week.
Removing silt from the Mettur dam would be historic as the dam, with a water-spread area of 60 sq km, has not been desilted after it was opened in 1934. Separately, a plan for large-scale desilting of the dam is being drawn up by a government-supported agency.
“A number of other dams will be desilted to store more rainwater. The government has allocated Rs 100 crore under the Kudimaramath scheme to desilt 1,519 lakes. In addition, steps are being taken to desilt 2,200 tanks and lakes at a cost of Rs 300 crore,” he told newspersons. “Besides desilitng the lakes, weeds and scrub will be removed from lakebeds, bunds, sluice gates and other structures will be repaired.”
The CM arrived at the airport around 1:30 pm on his way to Ooty, where he will to inaugurate the flower show on Friday. He later left for the Nilgiris by road.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister had conducted a video conference on managing the water crisis with collectors of seven districts, including Tiruchirappalli and Salem. The government is also taking steps to get Rs 6,000-7,000 crore for farmers from the Centre under the crop insurance scheme.
“I have instructed officials to provide compensation to farmers who were not in the earlier list also. The compensation will be given to farmers who were affected by drought,” he said.
Responding to a question, Palaniswami said there was little progress in talks with the O Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK. Meanwhile, after the video conference with the Chief Minister, Salem Collector V Sampath conducted a meeting of the officials concerned on removing silt from the Mettur dam.
He directed officials to inform farmers in villages around the dam about the decision to allow them to remove silt from water bodies free of cost.