HYDERABAD: The amphibious or floating excavator on Hussainsagar, installed by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) a few years ago, upturned on Sunday. The excavator is used to clean the lake by its banks, undertake dredging, and remove silt from the water body.
The excavator turned turtle either due to a damage in the chain linkages or because its boom (arm) slipped under water. “The maintenance and operation of the amphibious excavator was handed over to private agencies, and they have to set the things right at the earliest,” HMDA officials told Express.
Armed with a long boom, the excavator moves on land, water and marshy areas to take up dredging and clean the lake’s shoreline. HMDA has been using the machine for the last few years to lift Ganesh and Durga idols after festivals.
When the water is too deep, the excavator cannot float freely. In such cases, the boom is pressed into the water to help the excavator move forward or float. Sometimes, the boom can slip under water, causing the excavator to upturn.
Further, if the operator is not familiar with the machine, incidents like this could happen, said HMD officials. “The agency in charge of operating the machine should only employ qualified operators to do the job,” they added.
In light of the recent Ganesh idol immersion, HMDA has asked the agency to fix the excavator at the earlier, so that the cleaning work is not hampered.