Hyderabad: Neither flood in the Godavari nor the downpour could deter officials from continuing with the works on the Medigadda barrage — the crucial component of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project.
Dubbed as the lifeline of north Telangana, its completion will be the first major milestone in realising Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s dream of utilising every drop of the 1,300 TMC of water allotted to the State in the Godavari and Krishna river basins.
The day is not far when the 139-MW mammoth pumps will start lifting two TMC of water every day from the Godavari. The executing agencies are racing against time to complete the barrage, which was designed to have a gross storage capacity of 16.17 tmc. It will be completed by next December for impounding.
The water to be drawn from the Godavari will be pumped from Medigadda to Annaram and Sundilla barrages. It would be routed to Yellampalli reservoir to be distributed to the ayacut through gravity canal and pipelines. Water required for this will come from the Medigadda barrage through a 14.09-km underground tunnel, which is the longest irrigation tunnel in the world.
The works on the barrage, which was at its peak in May and June last, slowed down a bit for a couple of weeks due to heavy rain and floods in the Godavari. The flood flow touched even 3 lakh cusecs last week. There was no major disruption, barring for a day or two, thanks to the cofferdams dams built on either side of the barrage in construction for diverting the flood flow.
Superintending Engineer of the project Sudhakar Reddy told Telangana Today that the pace of works was affected for a few days as the workmen could not venture out due to the rains. There was some let up this week and it gained momentum once again.
Over 2,000 cubic metres of concrete work is being done every day, with over 2,500 workmen engaged in shifts to complete the barrage as desired by this December. The cofferdams put up on either side of the barrage under construction remained intact even during the peak flood flow of 3 lakh cusecs in the river. With the flood flow receding to 1 lakh cusecs on Thursday, the operations gained momentum once again.
A massive dewatering exercise is on to keep the work site free from seepage emanating from the cofferdam. It is raining all through the night and there is some let up in the day. Efforts were on to make up for the brief spells of slow down during the past two weeks.
Kannepalli pump house trial run
The stage is set for the trial run of the Medigadda pump house near Kannepalli scheduled for anytime between August 10 and 15. The water level at the Medigadda barrage as on Thursday was 91.025 m as against the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of +100 m.
As far as the earth work is concerned, 45.90 lakh cubic metres of the total 71.90 lakh cubic metres was completed. Of the 15.81 lakh cubic metres of concrete work to be done at the barrage, 8.38 lakh cubic metres was completed.
The state spent Rs 1,o88 crore on the barrage that was estimated to cost Rs 1,890 crore. Its cost is likely to go up marginally despite speedy implementation of the main components. The gravity canal is also getting ready at a fast pace. The canal will have a discharge capacity of 3 tmc a day, Reddy added. Erection of the 85 gates on Medigadda barrage would be taken up after completion of the civil works sometime in August.
Medigadda has become a reality today because of the inter-State agreement signed with Maharashtra in 2016. It helped iron out irritants along with decades of discord.