Ponmanay [Poonmana] head works.
Photographer: D'Cruz, Zachariah
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph of the dam and sluices was taken by Zachariah D'Cruz c.1900. It is one of the 76 prints from the Curzon Collection, 'Album of South Indian views'. George Nathaniel Curzon was Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office between 1895-98 and Viceroy of India between 1898-1905. Horsley, an Assistant Engineer in charge of the Southern Division was deputed in 1881 to the irrigation Branch of the Public Works in Travancore. Having sought expert advice, the Government in the next year sanctioned the improvement of the Pandyan Canal, the Padmanabhapuram Puthenaur, the Puthen Dam and the construction of head works for the two main channels. All the improvement works were completed about the beginning of 1885. The Head Works consisted of 5 vents for the Pandyan Kal and 3 vents of the same width and height for the Puthenaur, the two channels being separated by a division wall, and built to a height that would admit a depth of 10 feet water flowing over the crest of the Puthen Dam. This was the most important part of the scheme as it enabled the Dept. to control the depth of water in the channels and thus avoid the breaches that used to be a constant occurrence in the old irrigation system.