Sunday, December 11, 2011

Irreparable structural damages to Mullaperiyar dam or is it an 11 year old new and safe dam?

The  Central Soil and Materials Research Station ( , on directions from the Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court, found severe damages to the masonry structure of Mullaperiyar dam. They used a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) for the underwater inspection on the upstream face of the dam.
see the pic of ROV to be used for imaging the upstream face o... on Twitpic
Picture of ROV used for imaging the front face of the dam
(Courtesy: James Wilson)

Potholes, crevices and loosened rubble were found in the masonry structure of the dam between 95 and 106 feet from the base of the dam.
Irreparable deterioration was noticed in all 34 sections of the dam resulting from erosion of lime surki mortar from the rubble joints.  Some of the damage was caused by mistakes in the strengthening works carried out by Tamil Nadu since 1979, based on the recommendations of the Central Water Commission, according to  M. Sasidharan, retired engineer and Kerala's observer during the scanning.
Details at:

This finding comes in the wake of Tamil Nadu's plea that the dam has been totally retrofitted during the period 1981 to 2000 with cable anchoring and RCC backing and that it is a new dam  replacing the 116 year old dam and is to be considered  11 years old  only, as claimed by Tamil Nadu PWD Engineer S. Suthanthira Amalraj. This was reported by 'the Hindu' at:

In the mean time Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced that a dam break analysis is awaited from IIT Roorkie, with whom the Kerala Government has signed an MOU for the analysis.

-Joseph Ponnoly


Ponnoly Blogs said...

As per the newspaper report, the underwater inspection was performed using a 'remotely operated (underwater) vehicle' or ROV.
Details of ROV can be found at:
-Joseph Ponnoly

Ponnoly Blogs said...

What dam break analysis involves is described in detail at:

News Video- Mullaperiyar

1928 St Francis Dam Failure and Flood