In the wake of the recent scenario where a check dam near Kurmpalayam Pallam in the outskirts of the city broke, locals have claimed that lack of scientific approach in the desilting of the dam paved a way for the breakage along with illegal sand mining.
Since both provided storage capacity to the dam more than the normal capacity, the second dam broke flooding the nearby villages during the previous monsoon.
There are two lakes in Kurumbapalayam near Madukkarai and an additional lake a little before the village spread over a total capacity of five acres.
Water from Arivoli Nagar, B.K. Pudhur, Idayarpalayam, Machampalayam, Sundharapuram, Mile Kall reach Senkulam near Kuniyamuthur and excess water reaches the lakes after coming through the two check dams constructed on the way.
While the first checkdam was constructed by the Public Works Department around forty years ago, the second one came up in the 1980s to help hold more water.
The age old constructions however, over the course of time, had given way to bushes and silt inviting people to start a desilting work. A project was initiated by the District Administration and the officials along with NGOs cleaned the silt from the stream for upto 3 kms close the checkdams at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 lakh.
According to the locals, the desilting work had proved very costly as sand was taken away up to six feet deep close to the second dam and has directly increased the storage capacity. Alleged sand mining by unidentified men has also helped wrongly in the situation.
Unable to hold the additional water during the flood the dam started leaking and in four days’ time, it broke and flooded nearby areas, which was not expected. Since the dam is destroyed, the construction will not hold water which is totally against its purpose and the desilting has turned out to be a bane to the locals.
In order to repair and maintain these check dams in their pristine form, it would require a minimum of Rs. 25 lakh per check dam. Ironically, according to sources such huge funds are not easy accumulate for the Public Works Department and the department also has lack of labourer issues to deal with.
When contacted, a senior official from PWD said that he would look into the issue.