Work on restoration of Veedur dam begins

Once the work is completed, the reservoir would have 105 mcft of additional capacity, officials said

Preliminary work for the restoration of Veedur dam near Vikravandi in Villupuram district has begun, with the Water Resources Organisation of the Public Works Department (PWD) carrying out aerial survey with the help of drones to map the dam’s profile and its water capacity.

“The previous survey conducted by the Institute of Hydraulics and Hydrology, Poondi in September had identified silt accumulation up to 105 million cubic feet (mcft),” a senior PWD official said. The second survey with drones would map the gradient, dam profile, contour level, accumulation of silt and the storage capacity of the dam.

“The administration has constituted a survey team for all the five villages located near the dam. The drones are expected to complete the aerial survey mapping of the parameters within a week’s time,” the official said.

The government has sanctioned a sum of ₹43 crore for restoration of the dam.

The Veedur dam, commissioned in 1959, is now a major source of irrigation for villages in Villupuram district and the neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry.

The canal system of the reservoir comprises 17.6 km, of which 16.3 km passes through Tamil Nadu and 1.3 km through Puducherry. The dam is located at the confluence point of the Varaha and Thondi Rivers and irrigates about 2,200 acres in Villupuram district and 1,000 acres in Puducherry.

According to an official, the dam’s storage capacity is 605 mcft. The desilting exercise would enhance the dam’s storage capacity and about 105 mcft of silt would be removed.

The project also includes improvement work. The removed silt would be deposited in the foreshore bunds to a distance of 6 km to prevent encroachments and flooding on the other side, the official added.

The PWD will also be carrying out long-pending improvement work such as repair of shutters, strengthening of bunds and repairing branch channels.

The desilting work may take about one-and-a-half years. Once the work is completed, the reservoir would have 105 mcft of additional capacity.

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