Water stored in the Pillur Dam, located near Mettupalayam, is crucial for multiple drinking water projects (Pillur 1-3) that benefits Coimbatore city residents.

Out of the dam’s full reservoir level of 100 ft., the dam has sediments at least up to 40 ft., according to multiple trusted sources. So, even if the water level stays at 50 ft., it means that there is just not that much water inside the dam.

Residents and activists have been demanding the government desilt the dam for a long time, and the same was stressed many times during this summer when water supply was affected.

Due to inadequate rainfall and continuous usage, the water level in Pillur Dam dropped to 54 ft a few weeks ago, and only after the release of water from dams in The Nilgiris, the water level rose. It is estimated to be somewhere between 78 to 79 ft now.

After an intense period of heat, the summer-rains are here now, and the South West Monsoon season is also expected to start in June. Hence, if adequate water needs to be stored in the Pillur Dam to meet the city’s requirements, it first needs to be desilted.

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena inspected the Pillur Dam in person last Friday and he was accompanied by various government department officials, including Coimbatore District Collector Kranthi Kumar Padi and Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner Sivaguru Prabhakaran.

The officials explained to Mr. Meena about the current condition of the dam, the water supply schemes based on it, water drawn from the dam, etc. After hearing from them, the chief secretary advised officials to take steps to ensure that water supply to the residents is not affected.

On Sunday, the Chief Secretary chaired a similar meeting regarding the status of drinking water supply and projects in all districts, and the matter of the Pillur Dam was also discussed.

During the meeting, the Chief Secretary emphasized that if adequate/additionalwater must be stored in the Pillur dam to avoid shortages during summer, it must be desilted.

According to sources, desilting the dam via dredging maneuver would not be possible since there is not enough water in the dam. Hence, TWAD, TNEB, and various government higher officials will jointly discuss and figure out the viable method to desilt the dam, and they will come out with a Detailed Project Report for the same.