Three Structures in Tamil Nadu Obtain ‘World Heritage Irrigation Structure’ Label | Chennai News

CHENNAI: Three structures in Tamil Nadu, Grand Anicut, the second century dam built by King Chola Karikalan and one of the world’s oldest irrigation systems still in use, Veeranam Lake, which increases the drinking water needs of Chennai, and Kalingarayan Anicut have been awarded the “World Heritage Irrigation Structure”. The awards will be presented during the seventh Indian Water Week to be held in November.
The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), a recognized organization in the field of irrigation and drainage, has recognized these irrigation works as World Heritage sites labeled by UNESCO. Annual recognition is based on nominations received from various national committees which include both former operational irrigation structures as well as those of archival value. “The State Water Resources Department requested the necessary documents for six irrigation structures including Pechiparai Dam, Madurantakam Reservoir and Chembarambakkam Reservoir in July last year, and ICID conducted on-site inspections in December prior to choosing the three structures,” an official release said.
A maximum of four awards in the WHIS category are given to one country per year, while three from Tamil Nadu and Dhukwan Weir in Uttar Pradesh have been chosen for the year 2021. “Kallanai (Great Anicut) is the fourth oldest dam in the world, and first in India. It is a rock-solid project that has survived 2,000 years. The purpose of the dam was to divert the waters of Cauvery through the fertile delta region of Thanjavur for irrigation via canals. It is a rough stone anicut which stands in the Cauvery parallel to the bank. It is believed that Kallanai initially irrigated around 69,000 acres, although it now irrigates almost one million acres (13.2 lakh acres),” the ICID portal said.