Tender for desilting Mettur dam by month-end

“Currently, there is a pressing need to enhance water storage capacity across the state. Therefore, the state government instructed the WRD to expedite the process as early as possible.
An aerial view of Mettur dam
An aerial view of Mettur dam(File photo | Express)

CHENNAI: With the Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha election coming to an end, the Water Resources Department (WRD) is set to start the tender process for desilting Mettur dam, one of the major waterbodies in the state, by the end of this month.

Speaking to TNIE, a senior WRD official said the union government’s Water and Power Consultancy Services had conducted a study on Mettur, Bhavani Sagar, Vaigai, Amaravathi and a few other dams last year and handed over a detailed feasibility report to the state. However, the WRD did not receive environmental clearance as well as fund approval at that time.

“Currently, there is a pressing need to enhance water storage capacity across the state. Therefore, the state government instructed the WRD to expedite the process as early as possible. However, due to the MCC in place for the Lok Sabha elections, we could not move forward. Now, the process to get environmental clearance for Mettur dam is under way,” the official added.

Highlighting the desilting works, another official said, “Removal of silt and dumping the large quantity of sand are extremely tough tasks.

“That is why WRD has been postponing the process for years. Even after starting the desilting works, it will take at least five years to complete the task. The desilting will help increase the storage capacity by 30 tmcft from the present 93 tmcft gradually.”

The official also said due to financial constraints, the government has no plan to desilt other dams immediately. Even if the desilting work in Mettur dam starts, the state government will initially spend and then get a loan from the World Bank using the reimbursement method.

He further added, “Since the state government is adopting a revenue model for the desilting process, it can sell sand and generate supplementary revenue over the next five years.”

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