A check dam constructed across the Thenpennai river at Thalavanur in Villupuram district broke down on Tuesday in the wake of incessant rainfall, officials said.
This is the second instance of the dam getting damaged within a year. The Public Works Department had restored a portion of the dam that got damaged during rain in January this year.
The dam is located between Cuddalore and Villupuram districts. It has six vents – three in Enathimangalam on the Cuddalore side and three in Thalavanur on the Villupuram side. The dam was constructed during the AIADMK regime at a cost of Rs 25 crore. It was inaugurated by former Tamil Nadu law minister C Ve Shanmugam in September 2020.
There was a public outcry when a part of the check dam in Enathimangalam broke down in January, resulting in heavy flow of water into irrigation channels.
Tamil Nadu Minister for Higher Education K Ponmudi visited the spot on Tuesday along with District Collector D Mohan and other officials. Speaking to media persons later, Ponmudi said, “The Thalavanur check dam was constructed during the AIADMK regime just a year ago. In January, the other side of the dam broke down. I raised the issue and action was initiated against the authorities concerned. We just came across a bridge that was constructed 70 years ago and it has remained strong. On the other hand, a newly built bridge broke down twice within a year. This is proof of the AIADMK’s governance.”
Ponmudi further added that a proposal has been sent to revamp the entire structure at a cost of Rs 15 crore.
District Collector Mohan told Indianexpress.com that the incident happened early morning on Tuesday.
“In January 2021, a part of the check dam on the Cuddalore side got damaged and now the one in Villupuram has been damaged due to rain. The component got detached from the side bund, which may lead to soil erosion and water might enter villages. Therefore, we have asked the Public Works Department to bring big boulders. Once we are able to reduce the flow using these boulders, we can put cement bags properly on top of that and stop the water. We are going to implement measures immediately to prevent soil erosion and preserve water. The surplus water can be let out. That’s the plan as of now,” he added.