Century-old audible water level indicator at Gandipet to be repaired

The gramophone plays once the water level is reaching the danger mark. Each line on the gramophone record represents the actual water level.

Published: 25th July 2021 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2021 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

MAUD Prinicipal Secretary Arvind Kumar inspects the defunct audible water level indicator at Osmansagar reservoir | Vinay Madapu

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The defunct audible water level indicator or water level recording device installed at Osmansagar (Gandipet) reservoir during Nizam’s period, which used to record water levels on a graphical drum continuously, while also sending out floods warnings will be repaired soon. The non-functioning instrument which is lying idle for many decades at Osmansagar reservoir is likely to get a new lease of life with the State government planning to repair it as soon as possible. This instrument was manufactured by His Master’s Voice (HMV).

Recently, Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, and HMWS&SB Managing Director M Dana Kishore inspected the Osmansagar reservoir in the light of heavy rains in the catchment and saw this century-old unique instrument. “Came across this very interesting, flood warning instrument at Osmansagar yesterday. The gramophone plays once the water level is reaching the danger mark. Each line on the gramophone record represents the actual water level. Will try and get it repaired as soon as possible,” tweeted Arvind Kumar.

HMWSS&B officials told Express that the instrument became defunct a few decades ago and attempts were being made to restore it by inviting experts and technicians from various parts of the country to make it functional, but the efforts turned futile. 

The gramophone record was used to be played continuously to communicate the water level through an audio message to the receiver station fixed at the office of the engineer incharge of the dam site. Each line on the gramophone record represents the actual water level of the reservoir at that particular time. The needle of the recorder will move as per the rise and fall of the reservoir’s water level which operates through the float connected to the device. 

In 2009, it was kept at the Water Museum opened at the head office of HMWS&SB in Khairatabad. The museum was shut down and the instrument was shifted back to its original place at Osmansagar to preserve it for its unique function. The Nizam had installed it in 1920 after constructing Osmansagar reservoir. 

Officials said that in the olden days, a staffer used to go to Osmansagar reservoir to note down the reservoir levels on a daily basis for which an entire day was spent to get the reading. When the Nizam came to know about the time-consuming process, he issued orders to install a device to measure the water levels at Osmansagar.


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