Repair of crucial Korattur check-dam put on backburner for almost a year

Though the city’s four reservoirs will go bereft of water by this month end, this is the apt time for the State government to improve the conditions of such tanks for future rains.

Published: 08th May 2019 04:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2019 04:37 AM   |  A+A-

File picture of Chembarambakkam lake

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Though the city’s four reservoirs will go bereft of water by this month end, this is the apt time for the State government to improve the conditions of such tanks for future rains. One such project which is delayed by the government by almost a year is the repair of an important check-dam across Cooum River in Tiruvallur district. Though the Water Resources Department of PWD has been engaged in the construction of multiple check-dams across rivers in and around Chennai, the above mentioned Korattur check-dam holds special value. This project, however, has been kept on the back burner due to want of funds from other agencies, said officials.  

If the check-dam is repaired before the next monsoon, close to 15,000 cusecs of clean water from the Cooum can be directed into the Chembarambakkam reservoir, said, officials. Due to its location across the Cooum, which is still devoid of pollution near Puduchatram Village, the 10-kilometre long channel from the check-dam will act as an additional source of water to the reservoir. 

Usually, the reservoir gets water from two main sources - excess water from Sriperumbudur tank and Poondi reservoir. If rebuilt soon, this check-dam can act as another source and also will help in storing a large quantum of water from the river before it drains into the sea. Officials said that the check-dam was extensively damaged and breached during the floods in 2015. An estimated `35.5 crore was the amount formulated to repair the check-dam by the planning and formulation wing of the PWD which had sent a detailed proposal to the government during July 2018.

“In 2010, when the check-dam was functional with powerful regulators in place, we were able to divert 12,000 cusecs of Cooum water to Chembarambakkam. The engineers have proposed a new design which can help in directing around 50,000 cusecs of water from Cooum to the reservoir through the Bangaru Channel,” said a senior PWD official.

Also officials said the government hasn’t passed an order to start the work yet, due to want of funds from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). “There were several other projects which got top priority last year and received funds from NABARD. Because of this, the project has been kept on hold. Also, tender processes have been completed for desilting Chembarabakkam, Cholavaram and Poondi reservoirs. Work has begun in Cholavaram too. This water channel will be very useful as Chembarambakkam will have increased capacity soon,” added the official.


  • Main water source of Chembarambakkam are Poondi reservoir and Sriperumbudur tank.
  • Currently, Chembarambakkam is nearly empty and has only 3 Mcft of water. 
  • Combined storage of four reservoirs less than 2 per cent their capacity.
  • Krishna water and water from Kosasthalaiyar River, fill up Poondi, which in turn, fills up the other three tanks. 
  • Until Parthipet Village in Poonamallee taluk of Tiruvallur district, the Cooum river has sparkling clean water.
  • Korattur check-dams repair put on hold by govt due to lack of funds.
  • The dam can act as a third source to Chembarambakkam which is otherwise dependent only on two other unreliable sources.


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