Sandbags placed on Cauvery riverbed to help Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri & tourists tide over summer blues

The Hogenakkal project remains the only source of clean drinking water for residents of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.
Over the past few weeks, the inflow in the Cauvery has been getting leaner and this impacted the operation of the project pumping stations
Over the past few weeks, the inflow in the Cauvery has been getting leaner and this impacted the operation of the project pumping stations(Photo | Express)

DHARMAPURI: In a bid to enhance water supply to residences in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, the Tamil Nadu Water Supply And Drainage Board (TWAD) has piled up sandbags to divert the water flow on the Cauvery river bed.

The initiative aims to ensure the functioning of the pumping station of the Hogenakkal Drinking Water and Fluorosis Mitigation Project (HDWFMP). With the mercury rising, waterbodies across the district have dried up.

The Hogenakkal project remains the only source of clean drinking water for residents of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.

With a daily supply of 167 MLD of water to one corporation, two municipalities, 17 town panchayats and 7,639 rural habitations, this project is currently the life source of the two districts.

However, over the past few weeks, the inflow in the Cauvery has been getting leaner and this impacted the operation of the project pumping stations. To tackle this, the TWAD engineers have diverted the flow to the Cauvery to increase inflow near the pumps and ensure regular supply of water.

Speaking to TNIE, PK Mariappan from Pennagaram said, “It is almost heartbreaking to see the Cauvery in such a dire situation. The river flow has severely dwindled. If this situation persists, we fear that Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri district would face a calamity, especially when all our dams, lakes and wells are dry. If the situation persists, people can forget about tourism in Hogenakkal. Even drinking water could become a luxury. For the past two months the inflows have been at 200 cusecs.”

R Periyasamy from Dharmapuri said, “In most rural areas and the municipality, the Hogenakkal drinking water is being provided once every two days only. It could be because the Cauvery waters have reduced. The water supplied is extremely bitter as local sources have been mixed with the clean water. This has forced many people to resort to buying canned water in Dharmapuri.”

When TNIE spoke to engineers in the TWAD, they said, “The pile-up of sandbags is a two-pronged approach: a part of the water is diverted to the waterfalls to ensure tourism is not disrupted; the other goal is to naturally stock water for the efficient functioning of the pumping station. The inflows have been extremely lean and this has reduced the efficiency of the pumps. The sandbags divert water near the pumps and rectify the problem. People need not be concerned as in the past two days the inflow has improved,” they said.

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