CHENNAI: To address the distress situation faced by dams, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has tied up with leading institutions in the country, including the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, to give a facelift to 250 dams in seven states. Of these, 104 are in Tamil Nadu, and the list includes Kerala’s 120-year-old Mullaiperiyar Dam.
Under the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP), an initiative supported by the World Bank, an MoU was signed between the CWC, IIT-M and IISc. Speaking to Express about the `2,100 crore project, K Rajagopal, professor at IIT-M and coordinator of the initiative, said, “The CWC is tying up with academic institutes to help the respective State water resource departments and strengthen the capacity of academic institutes in the long term.
From Tamil Nadu, Anna University has also given a presentation before the CWC and is likely to sign an MoU.”
The IIT-M team consists of about 20 faculty members from various departments. They will provide services in areas like hydrological analysis, reservoir operations, dam-break analysis, emergency action planning, seepage control and ground improvement techniques, structural safety and structural assessment of dams, said Rajagopal.
The CWC will provide funds to the tune of Rs 5.92 crores towards setting up dam-related research labs at IIT-M. The institute will provide support to the Tamil Nadu Water Resource Department (TNWRD), Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) and other agencies.
On whether the work on the Mullaiperiyar Dam would be taken up on priority, the IIT-M official said the plan of action is the prerogative of the State government and IIT-M would provide technical help.