CHENNAI: The State Water Resources Department (WRD) is planning to rejuvenate 37 dams across the State under the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement-2 (DRIP-2) project with funding from the World Bank. Of the 37 dams, work on the Sathanur dam commenced in January, and work on four more dams are scheduled to begin soon, according to sources.
Chief Engineer (CE) of WRD (Operation and Maintenance) P Rajendran told TNIE that rejuvenation work on the remaining 32 dams would begin after they are examined by the Central Water Resources Department (CWRD).
The CE added that works on Sathanur dam, one of the major tourist spots in the State, have been expedited. Replacement of shutters and upgrading revenue generation components like parks and drinking water facilities are being undertaken at a cost of Rs 90 crore. Besides, an officials’ quarters is also being constructed.
Talking about the work on the other four dams, he said the department has received tenders for upper Nirar and Sholayar dams but orders are yet to be awarded. Process to begin works on Kelavarapalli and Mettur dams was on.
Since this is a Central government project with World Bank funding, officials from Delhi have to inspect the dams for allocating funds, he pointed out, adding that they are hopeful of completing the rejuvenation of all the 37 dams by 2026. According to sources, a sum of Rs 267.37 crore has been sanctioned for rejuvenating five dams.
According to a WRD source, the department had decided to repair and reinforce 37 dams, including Mettur, Bhavanisagar, and Krishnagiri, under the Centre’s DRIP-2 project in 2020 at an estimated cost of Rs 610.26 crore. The project, however, faced delays owing to the pandemic and Assembly elections. Under the DRIP-1 project, which began in April 2012, works on 69 dams were taken up at a cost of Rs 803 crore.