Check dam to come up across Palar

The long pending requirement of the people living in Kancheepuram District for check dam across the Palar River has become a reality. Bhoomi Pooja was performed for commencement of construction of check dam across Palar River at Vayalur village in Thirukalukundram Taluk, Kancheepuram district at an estimated cost of Rs. 32.50 Crores by the Water Resources Department (WRD), Public Works Department (PWD) on Monday.

The project is funded by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and executed through its General Services Organisation (GSO), Kalpakkam. This nearly three-decade-old proposal has been revived to tackle seawater intrusion and to augment supply for various drinking water schemes. The scope of the Rs. 32.50 Crores project is to construct the check dam at the tail-end of the Palar River. The 1.190-kilometer long check dam would help retain the floodwater that would otherwise flow into the sea. This Check Dam will provide an additional storage capacity of up to 1,500 million cubic meters with two fillings, and nearly 330 hectares of agricultural land would benefit through this scheme.

The WRD/PWD has planned to build a Check Dam with a subsurface dyke based on the observed maximum water level in 2015. While the above-surface structure of 1.5 meter height would help store more floodwater in the river and recharge the water table, the sub-surface dyke/wall to be built to a depth of 8 meters would prevent seawater intrusion and enhance the groundwater recharge in the aquifer.

This innovative design was necessary as the conventional check dam design would not serve the purpose due to its proximity to the sea and backwaters. On completion of this Check Dam by March 2020, the water stored and recharged would be used for domestic and agricultural purposes in the surrounding areas.