After portions of the Medigadda (Lakshmi) barrage, which diverts water rather than stores it, sank into the Godavari River last month, thus making the structure “useless till its rehabilitated fully,”. The Telangana government was ripped by a central panel on dam safety tore into the. This barrage is a part of the Rs 80,000 crore Kaleshwaram Multi-Lift Irrigation Project, which is the flagship project of the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi.
(Image source : NDTV)
Statement from the panel Six pillars, from the 15th to the 20th, sank as a result of the incident, which was reported on October 21st evening. The gates at the sixth, seventh, and eighth blocks were likely weakened as well.
The panel stated that the barrage may need to be rebuilded in its entirety due to the extent of the damage.
A project that was “designed as floating structure but constructed as a rigid structure” was revealed to have “deficiencies” in its planning and execution when the pillars, which were intended to withstand the force of 16,000 million cubic feet of water, sank several inches into the riverbed, according to the panel’s report.
Information provided through the reports
According to reports, ‘heavy water flow’—1.3 million cubic feet—caused the piers to sink in less than two weeks. According to reports, the Medigadda barrage’s weakening compelled the opening of all 85 gates, releasing up to 10 million cubic feet of water—water intended for irrigation and drinking.
The Telangana government was criticized in the report for “failure in planning, design, quality control, as well as operation and maintenance”. Additionally, it mentions that the Telangana government was asked by the NDSA to perform routine inspections in order to “check for unusual behaviour or signs of distress.”
(Image source : X)
However, it doesn’t seem like this has been followed. This is a noteworthy omission, the panel declared.
The barrage is rendered useless in its current state until it has fully recovered. There is a chance that other blocks may fail, so the damaged block, No. 7, needs to be structurally repaired in order for it to function. This would necessitate rebuilding the entire barrage,” the report cautioned.
Upstream of the Medigadda barrage, the panel identified the Annaram and Sundilla barrages as “prone to similar failure modes” and recommended that the reservoir be shut down until repairs are completed.
A Political Mumbo Jumbo Emerges
The National Dam Safety Authority’s report is released just weeks before Telangana’s Assembly election, placing Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao under intense pressure from the state’s opposition parties, the Congress, and the BJP.
During his visit to the scene on Thursday, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi stated, “… visited Medigadda barrage, which is a part of the corruption-ridden Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme in Telangana.
“The head of the party’s state unit and union minister G Kishan Reddy criticised the ruling party for “corruption… failed projects… leakages”.
The biggest water project
Water has been at the heart of Telangana’s decades-long struggle for statehood, which was won after thousands of people made supreme sacrifices and all factions persisted in their agitation. Ten years after its founding, Telangana under BRS is still unable to harvest its water, despite spending 1.5 lakh crore, the speaker claimed.
The Chief Minister himself launched the project in June 2019. The grand event featured VIP guests such as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Reddy and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who were billed as the world’s largest multi-stage multipurpose lift irrigation scheme.