VILLUPURAM: After a newly constructed check dam across Thalavanur and Yenathirimangalam was found damaged, the public staged a protest to take immediate action that resulted in stir on Sunday in Villupuram.
The check dam was found damaged as one of the two pillars supporting its shutter was breaking off the ground. According to officials, the check dam was constructed at a cost of Rs 25.35 crore and inaugurated on September 19, 2020 by law minister CV Shanmugam. Due to heavy rainfall, the dam was overflowing with water for three months.
"Meanwhile on Saturday evening, the pillar near the shutter on Yenathirimangalam side of the dam collapsed as the sand beneath loosened due to excessive water flow," said Assistant Executive Engineer of Villupuram Public Works Department.
Following the incident, Thirukovilur MLA and DMK leader K Ponmudy inspected the spot the same night, and condemned that no officials from either district were present on spot. Villupuram MP D Ravikumar also visited the spot on Sunday.
A 60-year farmer from Thalavanur said that the dam is crucial for irrigation for about 2,000 acres of agriculture land in Cuddalore and Villupuram, on either side of the dam and so the damage can't be easily taken. "Why are the officials not present to solve a major issue like this? We need their immediate intervention," he said.
"The dam just broke off like a piece of carton and that's the quality of a building constructed for `25 crore under the AIADMK government. Moreover, the absence of officials at the spot is suspicious of a larger scam in the construction," Ponmudy said.
On Sunday, around 100 people gathered at the spot protesting the dam's damage demanding immediate action by the officials along with a valid explanation. However, law minister Shanmugam told reporters that about seven crores had been further allotted to repair the damaged pillar in Thalavanur check dam.
The PWD workers have started repair works by filling the underground of the dam with rubbles, said, officials.