Delay in commissioning barrage at Upper Anicut

Heavy water flow in Kollidam

The heavy flow due to diversion of surplus water into the Kollidam has delayed the commissioning of new barrage being built across the river at Upper Anicut (Mukkombu).

The barrage is being constructed at an estimate of ₹387.60 crore after a portion of the old barrage across the river collapsed in August 2018.

The regulator is being constructed 75 metres away from the damaged structure on the downstream of the riverbed. The work began in June 2019 and was scheduled to be completed it in two years. The Public Works Department was hoping to complete the bridge by this month.

But construction had to be suspended intermittently due to release of surplus discharge in the Kollidam and the COVID 19 lockdown. The work has been affected again due to release of surplus water in the Kollidam right at the beginning of the north east monsoon.

On Tuesday, over 40,000 cusecs of surplus waters was diverted into the river at Upper Anicut. With the Mettur Dam reaching its capacity forcing the release of surplus flows, the water diversion is expected to continue for some days.

With the heavy water flow coming right at the beginning of the north east monsoon, officials feel that there could be intermittent, if not continuous, flow in the river over the next couple of months.

According to sources in the PWD, construction of the new barrage has almost been completed and only some finishing works were pending.

“Shutters have been erected on all vents and the diverted water is actually flowing across the new barrage. But in view of the water flow, it would take some more time to complete the remaining work. The barrage is likely to be fully completed and ready for commissioning by March,” they said.

Work on strengthening and developing the river bund from Mukkombu to the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory in Srirangam,taken up as part of the construction of the barrage, too has to be completed.

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