The dam was inaugurated by Lord Wenlock, the then Governor of the Chennai Presidency. It resulted in irrigating of 2.23 lakh acres in Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts and went on to become a lifeline of Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu. The British Government Gazetteers used to refer the Periyar Dam, an engineering marvel that had redefined the landscape of Southern Tamil Nadu and they went on to record that 'what Police Department could not do was done by the Public Works Department' by gently referring the better irrigation facilities lead to prosperity and general maintenance of law and order.
Pennycuick used lime and surki paste for construction, taking into consideration the gravitational force. This is the reason why it is able to withstand tremors and remain strong. For all his efforts made, He just said :"I am going to be only once in this earthly world, hence I need to do some good deeds here. This deed should not be prorogue nor ignored since I am not going to be here again".
Pennycuick as a Cricketer:
It was in April 1865 that Lt.J.Pennycuick, writing as Secretary of the Madras Cricket Club, sought permission from Government for a piece of ground at Chepauk to which the club's activities could be moved. Having got the permission, he arranged to have the ground enclosed and levelled and, so, "Chepauk" became the "Lords" of cricket in South India. As Pennycuick rose in the ranks he seemed to shuttle between Madras and Bangalore, regularly turning out for both clubs depending on his posting. He was an all-rounder, opening the batting and proving a regular wicket-taker with some "fine underarm bowling". In the oldest available scorecard (1875) of a match between the two teams, he is shown as having taken 9 wickets, and as the most successful bowler, enable the Bangalore team to win by eight wickets.