Eleven dams in the State would get a new lease of life under the first phase of the `745.49-crore World Bank project, a senior official from the Water Resources Organisation (WRO) said. The official told Express that 104 of the 127 dams, including 38 Tamil Nadu Electricity Board dams generating hydro-power, would be covered under the funds to enhance them for irrigation and generation of drinking water and hydro-power.
The project would be implemented in four phases and would be completed by 2018. In the first phase, Adavinainar Koil dam, Vadakupachayar dam, Nambiar dam, Kodumudiyar dam and Manimuthar dam in Tirunelveli district, Poigayar dam in Kanyakumari district, Vidur dam and Gomukhinadhi in Villupuram district, Mordhana in Vellore district, Siddhamalli in Ariyalur district and Kodayanar in Dindigul district would be covered.
A total of `63 crore has been allocated for the purpose, a WRO official said. He added that the technical and administrative procedures had been completed and work was about to be started. The main aim is to enhance the strength of the dams to withstand floods. Most of the dams were scheduled to undergo maintenance as they were 40 to 50 years old. The project would adhere to World Bank procedures.
“First we will be studying the internal behaviour of the dam after which it will be strengthened to withstand natural calamities for a long period of time. A hydrology study is also being conducted simultaneously,” the WRO official said, adding, that steel shutter conditions to regulate floods will also be checked and re-strengthened or replaced depending upon the requirement.
Six hydro-electric dams will also be covered under the project. These include Avalanche dam, Glenmorgan dam, Mukurthy dam and Porthimund dam in Nilgiris district, Kadamparai dam in Coimbatore district and Servalar dam in Tirunelveli district. The WRO official said that the project would also cover the 107-year-old Pechhiparai dam besides 25 others in the second phase. The preliminary process has already been started, the official said.