While there is so much of brouhaha over sand quarrying, “there is quite a lot sand available untapped in the water spread area of Mettur Dam,” says N. Natarajan, former Superintending Engineer, Public Works Department, and author of two books on the Cauvery. This would enormously benefit the dam itself, he asserts.
“The difference between removing sand from the river and the water spread area is that the holding capacity of the river would be lost once sand is removed from the river. One cubic foot of sand can hold three cubic feet of water. But when sand and silt are removed from the water spread area, more water could be accommodated,,” he explains. Mettur Dam has a water spread area of about 153 sq km.