Part of check dam wall near Anaikatti in Coimbatore collapses, activists blame poor construction

It was constructed under the MGNREGS with Rs 8 lakh funded by the District Rural Development Agency. Sources said rain exposed the poor construction work.

Published: 15th December 2021 09:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2021 09:16 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

COIMBATORE:  A portion of a wall of the check dam on Thumanur to Chembukkarai near Anaikatti collapsed due to the recent monsoon rains.

It was constructed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme with Rs 8 lakh funded by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA). Sources said rain exposed the poor construction work. Wild animals used to quench their thirst in this check dam, sources added.

However, a forest department official claimed that the wild animals satisfy their water needs from other water sources created by the department, and not the check dam.

'Revival of stream is revival of biodiversity'

K Kalidas, the founder of Osai - an NGO which is involved in Environment issues and Wildlife Protection, said "This shows that the government authorities have drained the tax payer's money by carrying out the work in  hurry. We suspect the contractor could have used poor quality materials which led to the dam collapsing within only few months. We should not construct a check dam that stops perennial stream's free flow. For instance, such one was constructed near Mukurthi national park in Nilgiris district. Experts pointed out that a check dam which halts micro and aquatic organism movement should not be raised. Hence, the authorities should construct a detailed and scientific study on when and where to construct a dam considering the benefit of people and wildlife.  

Environmental activist K Mohanraj said, "In fact, water will not be available during summer in the check dam. Even if the water was available, how can the wild animals find grass and other food at the dam? Earlier, wild elephants would go where ever the water sources are available. Construction of a check dam is against the scientific wildlife management."

"95 per cent of the existing check dams in Tamil Nadu constructed under various schemes are a complete failure. Yet, the government officials repeat their mistake by constructing more of such check dams. Avoid sand mining, laying of road in streams, etc. Revival of stream is revival of biodiversity," he said.

Periyanaickenpalayam BDO and DRDA Project Director Kavitha was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.

Another check dam near Chinnathadagam is also in dilapidated condition. The district collector GS Sameeran is yet to intervene on this.


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