Hyderabad: A breach to Jagadevpur canal originating from Kondapochamma Sagar in Markook mandal of Siddipet on Tuesday morning that flooded Sivaruvenkatapur village was opened wider by Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) engineers with the help of earthmovers, and the process of filling the gash began on a war-footing. Water was released into the canal in a simple ceremony on June 24.
After the breach was noticed, the engineers immediately shut down the regulator at Kondapochamma Sagar, and the water that entered the village and the remaining water in the canal was diverted to a local stream to take repair works. The engineers say that the release of water into the canal will resume after the repairs. However, they denied that there were quality issues with regard to the construction of the Jagadevpur canal.
“Water is flowing in the canal for the first time. It should be treated as a trial run. During these kinds of trial runs, we do come across weak or vulnerable zones. The breach is small, around five feet. Normally, breaches in canals occur in banking zones. This too occurred in the banking reach,” a senior irrigation expert overseeing the KLIS construction told ‘Telangana Today’.
“While taking up earthwork, we ensure that 98 per cent Proctor density is attained after the consolidation of earth bund. Our quality control engineers will check the density, and if it is below 98 per cent, they will suggest going in for further consolidation. Generally, keying of earth bund with concrete wall is critical. The roller will not go near the concrete wall, and consolidation shall be done manually. In such cases, a breach can occur,” he said and explained Proctor density determines the maximum dry density and optimum moisture content of a given soil.
KLIS engineers say that these are commonly found weak zones in any canal in banking reaches. The present breach in the Jagdevpur canal occurred at a typical structure. “The canal was flowing above the road underpass. Earthwork (embankment) was to be laid on a concrete surface. Our quality engineers are studying the causes of breaches that occur at these typical structures,” he said.
Speaking to news reporters at the incident site, Engineer-in-Chief, KLIS, B Hariram Nayak said canals do sink in some places when water is released for the first time. He urged people not to get into a panic mode with such incidents.
Stating that water was released six days ago to test the strength of the canal, Hariram said that they had expected some breaches. Pointing out that irrigation staff had put in a lot of effort to bring the Godavari water to the Kondapochamma Sagar project by lifting it to 618 metres height from the sea level, he said there was a need to appreciate and stand by the irrigation staff since they worked day and night to get the water from 260 km away. “We have been regularly checking the canals to identify breaches and seepages,” he said, adding that officials were looking into damages caused to houses by the flooding and that they would be compensated by the government.
The Jagadevpur canal is one of the 13 canal networks that carry water from Kondapochamma Sagar. The 24-km-long canal with a capacity to carry 695 cusecs can provide irrigation to 12,800 acres. After 3.5 km, it splits towards Alair. The Alair canal splits again after eight km with one branch going to Turkapally and the other towards the ayacut in Turkapally mandal. The 24-km long Turkapally canal has an ayacut of 18,800 acres.
Sanjay blames govt
BJP State president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar held the State government responsible for the canal breach.
In a statement here, he demanded that the State government scrap the contract with the construction company and recover the complete amount paid to it so far. “The vigilance and quality control departments must also be held responsible for the breach,” he added.
In another statement, Congress MP A Revanth Reddy said that there were breaches in both the main canals in a short span of time and demanded a CBI inquiry into the quality of construction of the Kaleshwaram project.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.