Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation project: Now, water leaks reported from two gates at Annaram barrage

Ten days ago, damage of some piers of the Medigadda Lakshmi barrage of the KLIS was reported; it led to criticism by the Opposition who claimed the incident proved corruption in the project.
People trying to plug the water leakage at two gates of the Annaram barrage of the Kaleshwaram project. (Videograb)
People trying to plug the water leakage at two gates of the Annaram barrage of the Kaleshwaram project. (Videograb)

BHUPALPALLY: Yet another incident of trouble has been reported from the prestigious Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS).

Water has been seeping out of two gates - Pillars 28 and 38 - at the Saraswathi (Annaram) barrage of the KLIS in the Mahadevpur mandal of Jayashankar Bhupalpally district. This is one of the three barrages constructed as part of the KLIS. Recently, six piers of the Medigadda barrage were found damaged. 

Officials had noticed the leakage of water at the two gates of the Annaram barrage after the sand around pillar No 41 in block No 4 was washed away a few days ago. 

They are currently trying to plug the leaks with sandbags, which were taken there in small boats, as seen in visuals shared.

The Saraswathi (Annaram) barrage has a water storage of 10.87 TMC. However, at present, the water level in the barrage is 5.71 TMC.

Officials have released 2,357 cuses of water downstream by lifting one gate of the barrage to take up temporary repairs to the barrage gates.

The engineering staff, after initial examination, said that seepage of water was very common and would happen during the annual maintenance activity (AMA) period and during the rainy season.

There is no need to panic, said officials, adding that experts were taking measures to arrest the flow of the water.

In case of sand coming out of the barrage along with the water, it would indicate that the barrage and its piers were in danger.

However, unlike in the Medigadda barrage incident, no sand was seen in the seepage water at Annaram, an official said.

State irrigation officials are yet to respond on the incident.

A file photo of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project (Express)
A file photo of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project (Express)

Damage to Medigadda barrage triggers political storm

On October 21, a small portion of the Medigadda Lakshmi barrage of the KLIS, which is 260 km away from Hyderabad, had 'caved in' after six of its piers/pillars sank into the ground by a few inches. Loud sounds were reportedly heard from the underlying gates of the barrage. 

According to reports, officials believe the water had washed away or shifted the sand that was around the piers for a period of time.

Constructed by L&T, the barrage is 1.6 kilometers long and the portion which is partially sunk is only 356 meters from Maharashtra. The barrage has withstood the last five flood seasons, including the 2023 flood season, the company's spokesperson had said.

IT minister and BRS working president KT Rama had said that the final report of the dam safety expert committee was awaited and that the cost of any repair would be taken up by the contracted agency. 

The barrage has been in operation for five years, and it withstood historic 28 lakh cusecs of flood last year, he had said. 

The Opposition Congress and BJP alleged that 'poor design' and 'low quality of work' were responsible for the incident.

They demanded the resignation of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) asking him to take moral responsibility. They also alleged that the incident proved their allegation of large-scale corruption in the project.

Kaleshwaram project piers falling one by one: Rahul Gandhi

The piers of the Kaleshwaram project are falling one after the other, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an election meeting in Kalwakurthy in Telangana, the Lok Sabha MP said that Chief Minister KCR should go to the locations and conduct an on-the-spot review.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Congress leader while in Kollapur had claimed that the BRS and BJP had jointly looted Rs 1 lakh crore from the Kaleshwaram project.

Alleging that the piers of the Medigadda barrage have been badly damaged and are caving in as a result of corruption, he sought to know why projects like Nagarjuna Sagar, Singur, Sriram Sagar and others constructed during Congress rule were not sinking.

(With inputs from Online Desk)

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