Kadamanthodu Reservoir: LiDAR Survey Unveils Promising Insights in Wayanad



Kadamanthodu River Dam Project in Wayanad Underway with LiDAR Survey

The Water Resources Department has commenced a LiDAR survey for the proposed Kadamanthodu reservoir project in Wayanad, Kerala. This project aims to address the severe water shortage experienced by the areas of Pulpally and Mullankolly during the summer months. However, the local residents and environmental organizations have voiced their opposition to the dam construction.

Continuation of a Geological Survey

Three months ago, the Geological Survey of India conducted a preliminary survey of the region. The LiDAR survey will build upon this data by accurately marking the springs, creeks, and terrain of the proposed dam site in relation to the mean sea level (MSL). This survey will also provide crucial information for estimating the volume capacity of the reservoir and determining the exact area that will be affected by inundation. In addition, the survey will identify existing infrastructure, such as buildings, roads, and power lines within the project site.

Survey Conducted by Delhi-Based Firm

To conduct the LiDAR survey, a Delhi-based firm has been appointed by the Water Resources Department. The cost of the survey is estimated at ₹32.8 lakh. In preparation for the survey, Water Resources Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Singh visited the proposed dam site near the MILMA milk chilling plant in Anappara a few weeks ago. An all-party meeting held months ago agreed to determine the height and size of the dam based on the findings of this survey.

Proposed Dam Specifications

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According to a draft proposal, the dam will be constructed across the Kadamanthodu River at a height of 28 meters and a length of 299 meters. The dam will have a storage capacity of 0.51 tmc in a water year from June 1 to May 31. Once the LiDAR survey is complete, a feasibility study report will be submitted to the Central Water Commission. The detailed project report will be prepared after obtaining the Commission’s consent.

Opposition and Demands

While the survey is underway, a collective called Dam Virudha Samiti, consisting of local residents from the proposed site area, supported by the Wayanad Prakruthi Samrakshana Samiti, has staged a fast in Pulpally to protest against the government’s decision to construct the dam. Their demands include repealing the project and exploring alternative solutions for ensuring water availability in the region during summer. The protesters have also expressed their determination to disrupt the LiDAR survey in the coming days. However, the Water Resources Department has stated that they have obtained the agreement of political party representatives and farmer organizations before initiating the survey.

Conclusion

As the Water Resources Department forges ahead with the LiDAR survey, local opposition to the proposed Kadamanthodu reservoir project remains strong. The survey will provide valuable data on the dam site and surrounding terrain, helping to determine the feasibility of the project. A comprehensive study report will be submitted to the Central Water Commission, and a detailed project report will be prepared based on their consent. The outcome of this survey will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the dam construction and ensuring water supply to the drought-prone areas of Pulpally and Mullankolly.

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