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Telangana govt plans repairs at Medigadda barrage of Kaleshwaram project

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Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) The Telangana government plans to undertake repairs at Medigadda barrage based on the recommendations made by the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA).

A decision on taking up repair works in view of the upcoming monsoon season is expected to be made at the next meeting of the state Cabinet.

Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy is believed to have asked the Irrigation Department to take necessary measures immediately to prevent further damage to the barrage during monsoon.

The repair works are expected to help in storing the water in the barrage to meet irrigation requirements.

The issue was to come up for discussion at the Cabinet meeting on Saturday but the meeting could not take place as the Election Commission of India’s nod was not received for the it.

The state government had sought the poll panel’s nod in view of the Model Code of Conduct for ongoing elections to Lok Sabha.

NDSA recently submitted an interim report on the repairs and temporary restoration of the damaged Medigadda and Sundilla barrages which are considered as the most important structures in the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project across Godavari river.

At least piers of Medigadda barrage sank in October last year, prompting the NDSA to send its experts for an inspection. Following its recommendations, the barrage was emptied.

The incident had triggered a political uproar with the opposition parties blaming the then BRS government for the incident due to alleged corruption and flawed design and poor quality of works on the project, billed as the world’s largest lift irrigation project.

At a review meeting, Irrigation Minister N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and others on Saturday, enquired about the recommendations made by the NDSA in the interim report on the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project and the measures needed to be taken.

The meeting was attended by Ninister Tummala Nageswara Rao, Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy, J. Krishna Rao, Konda Surekha and CM’s Adviser Vem Narender Reddy.

Uttam Kumar Reddy explained all the important points and recommendations made in the interim report to the Chief Minister and the Ministers. The NDSA made it clear in 2019 that danger is lurking around the barrages and the risk factor is not ruled out even after the repairs and restoration measures are taken up at the damaged structures.

In view of the beginning of the monsoon season in a month, the Chief Minister said that the measures to be taken in the meantime will have to be discussed in the Cabinet meeting. The government will make a decision to repair the damaged structures or any alternative measures in consultation with the Irrigation Department.

The Chief Minister said that a field level visit and inspection of the Medigadda and Sundilla barrages and the pump houses needs to be conducted soon.

Last month, the judicial commission headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose began probe into the alleged irregularities in the construction of 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 in the irrigation project.

--IANS

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