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CM laid the foundation stone for a new barrage across the Kollidam river

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TRICHY: Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for a new barrage across the Kollidam river heeding a long-pending demand of farmers of the delta districts. The 1,800-metre-long and 8 metrewide barrage will help store the excess water which now flows into the Bay of Bengal through the Kollidam river during monsoon. It will be constructed across the river connecting Kumaramanglam village in Nagapattinam district and Athanur village in Cuddalore district.

The proposal to construct a barrage with 84 shutters and holding 1.072 tmc of water was announced by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa under rule 110 in the assembly on August 4, 2014, officials said.

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The new irrigation infrastructure will enable the public works department to supply water to irrigate 37,000 acres of ayacuts of Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts. The barrage to be built at a cost of Rs 428 crore will help maintain the groundwater table with the required level in and around the barrage, the officials said. There is also a provision to channelize the excess water flowing on North and South Rajan canals and Narimudukku and Kondappan Cauvery drainage canals to the barrage during flood season.

The structure will also help take a large quantum of water to the New Veeranam Drinking Water Scheme in Cuddalore as the facility has the capacity to store more water, they added. There would be provision for vehicular movement on the barrage with two-way traffic. Officials said that the process of constructing the barrage would commence in a few months and be completed within two years.

At the function organized at Anaikarai in Thanjavur, PWD regional chief engineer V Selvaraj, executive engineers V Asaithambi and S Kannan as well as assistant engineers R Sekar and K Muthumani were present.

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