In Telangana, sudden surge of water from Krishna River submerges Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation Scheme
There were no casualties due to the incident, as all the engineering staff working in the pump house ran out, but there has been huge material loss to the project, officials said.Updated: Oct 17, 2020, 23:22 IST
Sudden gushing of water from the Krishna River and from the backwaters of Srisailam Reservoir led to complete submergence of the pump house of the Mahatma Gandhi Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation Project at Yellur village of Telangana’s Nagarkurnool district on Friday evening.
There were no casualties due to the incident, as all the engineering staff working in the pump house ran out, but there has been huge material loss to the project, officials said.
State minister for agriculture S Niranjan Reddy who rushed to the project site late on Friday night said the accident occurred when the project engineers switched on the pumps to supply drinking water under the Mission Bhagiratha scheme.
“The first motor of the pump house was switched on at 2.54 pm and the second one at 3.45pm for drinking water (Mission Bhagiratha) purposes. However, within three minutes, the flood water entered the pump house from the adjacent surge pool making a huge noise and within 20 minutes the entire pump house was submerged,” he said.
The minister, however, said the engineering staff of the pump house immediately closed the surge pool gates and prevented more water from entering the pump house. They also initiated the dewatering process to pump the water from the submerged pump house.
“We don’t know what exactly happened and the extent of damage unless we remove the entire water from the pump house. We shall take all measures and see that the pump house is restored within a month,” Reddy said.
A project worker on the spot, who refused to be named, said the basement of the pump house had broken open suddenly with a deafening sound as the water from surge pool gushed into the pump house. “We were seven people on the spot and all of us rushed out,” he said.
Due to the impact of the gushing water, the foundation bolts that fixed the motors to the basement also came off with a huge sound and within minutes the entire pump house got submerged, he said.
Engineering-in-Chief of irrigation department Ch Muralidhar said the gushing of water from the surge pool into the pump house could be due to the failure of a discharging valve joint.
Meanwhile, the police on Saturday arrested several Congress leaders including Pradesh Congress Committee working president and MP A Revanth Reddy, while they were on their way to Yellur village to inspect the submerged pump house of Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation Project.
They were lodged at the Uppununthala police station before being released later in the evening. Police personnel were deployed in large numbers to prevent the Congress leaders and even media from going to the project.
Speaking to reporters later, Revanth demanded a high level inquiry into the incident. He alleged that the accident at the Kalwakurthy lift scheme occurred due to blasting of rocks for a tunnel for the construction of the Palamuru-Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation project a couple of kilometres away, much against the advice of irrigation experts.