Overcoming all the bureaucratic delays, the Irrigation Department has finally begun work on a permanent check dam at Ramamangalam on the Muvattupuzha river to enable the Choondi Water Treatment Plant to obtain water from the drawing well in all seasons.
A gabion check dam costing over ₹7 crore will be built 50 metres down the Ramamangalam bridge so that the water level in the drawing well will not fall during the summer. A gabion is a cage or box made of iron net that holds together rubble or small rocks. Among the many other uses in civil engineering, it is also used to construct a check dam.
The Choondi plant had been facing the problem of water shortage during summers as the course of the river is away from the drawing well. For the past seven years, several lakhs of rupees have been spent on a temporary bund, which had become a necessity for the plant to draw enough water. Without a bund, it was difficult to draw 22 million litres of water that the plant supplied to the city and outskirts every day.
However, this year too, the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will have to shell out ₹8 lakh to build a temporary bund as the check dam will not be completed before the summer is out. The technical and administrative sanctions for the check dam were given more than a year ago, but the work has begun only now. The Irrigation Department had submitted the results of the soil test and the design for approval about two years ago. It was decided then that the Irrigation Department, rather than the KWA, would execute the project. Since the administrative sanction for the project was given to the KWA, the inter-departmental transfer of the sanction took some time to materialise.