Taking forward the plans of the state to tap the share of waters allotted to it in the Kabini basin as per the Cauvery verdict, the Kerala government has invited expression of interest (EoI) for selecting consultant to prepare DPR for constructing an earthen dam under Kadamanthode project in Wayanad.
The competitive bidding for pre-qualification of consultant is the first major step towards commencing the project which has been lying in limbo for the last one decade. The consultant will be tasked to conduct ground-level investigation, surveys, preparation of structural designs and detailed cost estimates for the DPR for the construction of a multipurpose composite dam under Kadamanthode project across the Kadamanthode river in the Kabini basin in Wayanad.
It is estimated that the Kadamanthode river, which is a tributary of Kabini, is draining around 1.2 TMC of water in a year, which is reaching the Beechanahalli river in Karnataka. Besides helping utilize the allocated share of Cauvery water to the state, the project is expected to mitigate drought at Pulpally, Mullankolly and Poothadi panchayats of Wayanad and help in restoring the groundwater level in the vicinity.
The state government had last year commenced a Rs 80- crore project to tackle drought and aridification in the three panchayats which borders Karnataka. The proposed earthen dam under Kadamanthode project is to utilise 0.52 TMC of water with minimum submergence thereby reducing the number of people who will be displaced.
The pre-feasibility report for the Kadamanthode irrigation project had been prepared on the basis of data by the Kerala State Remote Sensing and Environment Centre. The DPR would also study the environmental and social aspects of the projects.
Kadamanthode project envisages construction of an earthen dam with a height of 28m and a length of 490m to house the Kadamanthode tributary of Kabini river at Anappara. The project, which will have a catchment area of 1,638.62 hectares, would enable use of 0.52 TMC of water for irrigation purposes in the drought-prone Mullankolly and Pulpally panchayaths, which were once the famed pepper baskets of Kerala. The project would enable irrigation of 1,940 hectares of crops including paddy, arecanut and coffee.
Kerala currently has only two projects, the Banasura Sagar dam and the Karappuzha irrigation project, to utilize its share of water in the Kabini basin and together they have a capacity to utilize only 3.64 TMC of water. Tamil Nadu had moved the Supreme Court staking its claim on the around 16TMC of water which remain unutilized by Kerala from Kabini basin.