Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday laid the foundation through video conference for construction of a new barrage across the Kollidam at Mukkombu upper anicut at a cost of ₹387.60 crore.
He also laid the foundation for construction of a cut-off wall-cum-cofferdam with sheet pile to add strength to the existing barrage and the new structure at an estimate of ₹39.85 crore.
While Mr. Palaniswami signalled the start of construction work from Chennai, Collector S. Sivarasu, Chief Engineer of Water Resources Division, Tiruchi region, R. Senthilkumar and senior officials visited the proposed site and opened the foundation stone.
The new barrage will come up at 78 metres downstream of the existing structure across the Kollidam, a portion of which was washed away on August 22, 2018, due to heavy discharge of water.
The new irrigation infrastructure will enable the Public Works department to take care of supply of water for irrigating 12 lakh acres in the Cauvery delta and 57,000 acres of ayacuts of Pullambadi, Peruvalai and Ayyan canals in Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Ariyalur districts.
The new barrage will have 650 metres in length and 4.5 metres in width. It will be constructed in two arms. While the southern arm will have 45 shutters, the northern arm will have 10 shutters.
Mr. Senthil Kumar told that it had been planned to complete the barrage within 24 months. There was a clause in the agreement for providing bonus to the construction company if the project was completed well within 24 months. Considering the importance of the barrage in regulating water for irrigation, the company had committed to completing the project well in advance.
There would be provision for vehicular movements on the barrage. However, light vehicles and two wheelers would only be allowed. It would help farmers and residents of Vathalai and Mukkombu to commute for day-to-day work along the barrage.
Mr. Senthil Kumar said the water discharge capacity of the barrage had been increased to 2.83 lakh cusecs from the existing 2.75 lakh cusecs. Hydraulic operation of shutters would be the hall mark of the project.
There would be separate hydraulic unit for each shutter. It could be opened by pressing a button. The quantum of water to be discharged could be electronically programmed depending upon the situation, he added.