CHENNAI: The much-delayed construction of the check dam across Palar River at Vayalur in Kancheepuram district may begin soon. The Department of Atomic Energy, which is funding the project, has recently approved transfers of Rs 32.5 crore to the Tamil Nadu government for the construction.
The Vayalur check dam, located close to the mouth of the Palar River, would be the last of the series of check dams planned across the river, which runs dry for the most part of the year.
The check dams may help conserving water during surplus seasons and help recharge groundwater and avoid seawater intrusion.
The Department of Atomic Energy is funding the project since a portion of water from the check dam would be diverted to manage the water needs of the nuclear power plant at Kalpakkam, which is about 10 kilometres away from Vayalur. Besides, the officials hope the check dam would supply 100 MLD (Million litres per day) water to meet Chennai’s needs and also irrigate nearly 350 hectares of agricultural land at Lower Palar Basin.
“The structure will be 1190m long and 1.5m in height. A subsurface wall of eight metres will help in preventing seawater intrusion in the aquifer,” a senior official from the Water Resource department told Express.
The Water Resource department of the Public Works Department will begin the construction of the check dam by this month end. “On February 12, we got the formal letter from the Department of Atomic Energy about the approval of the allocation of funds. By March 31, 2020, we will finish the construction,” added the official.
Officials said that the construction of the first check dam across Palar between Esoor and Vallipuram villages in Kancheepuram had commenced in January. Four other check dams will be set-up at Venkatapuram, Palayaseevaram in Kancheepuram taluk and Palur and Alapakkam in Chengalpet. The government is yet to give nod for them, a long-pending demand of Kancheepuram residents