Telangana decides to take up repairs to Kaleshwaram barrages


by IANS | Tue, May 21, 2024, 12:01 PM

Hyderabad, May (IANS) The Telangana government on Monday decided to take up repairs to three barrages of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, in line with the recommendations made by the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA).

The state Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy resolved to take up repairs to the Medigadda, Annaram, and Sundilla barrages.

The Cabinet discussed the issue in detail, examined the interim report of the NDSA, and decided to go by the advice of technical experts. The repair works would be entrusted to Central agencies. It was also decided that the expenditure in this regard should be borne by the construction agency.

The government also decided to explore options for the construction of structures like rockfill dams as temporary measures to lift water from Medigadda and other barrages.

At least three piers of the Medigadda barrage sank in October last year, raising concern over the safety of the structure and prompting the NDSA to send its experts for an inspection.

Following its recommendation, the barrage was emptied.

Ministers Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and D. Sridhar Babu told media persons after the Cabinet meeting that though failures in the barrages surfaced in 2019 itself, the then BRS government did not take corrective steps.

They said the decision to take up repair works was taken to make sure the huge public money spent on the project does not go to waste and also to protect the interests of the farmers.

The Cabinet decided to release water from the barrages to avoid further damage and rope in Central agencies for repairs.

Irrigation Minister N. Uttam Kumar Reddy is in touch with the Centre as well as its agencies in this direction.

The opinion of Central agencies will be elicited to ensure the sustainability of the barrages. It was resolved to take recommendations of two Central agencies per barrage.

The decision to take up repairs comes in view of the coming monsoon season.

The Cabinet felt that since repairs at Medigadda may not set things right entirely and since it can’t store water, the government is keen to take some temporary measures to supply water to farmers. Measures will also be taken to prevent further damage to the barrages during monsoon.

Last month, the judicial commission headed by retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose began its probe into the alleged irregularities in the construction of the Kaleshwaram project. After coming to power in December last year, the Congress government had ordered a judicial inquiry into the sinking of the piers of Medigadda barrage and leakages in Sundilla and Annaram barrages. The commission has also been asked to look into the financial aspect of the project and technical flaws, if any, like designs, planning and execution of the irrigation project.

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