Water to be pumped out in a week before starting exercise to remove silt

An operation on a war footing was launched on Sunday to remove water from the submerged 770-MW Srisailam Right Bank Powerhouse (SRBP) by deploying giant pump-sets of high capacity. Nearly 100 engineers rushed from across the State to oversee the unprecedented de-watering exercise.

20-metre deep water

The powerhouse remained under 20-metre deep waters even after some flowed out following stoppage of heavy discharge from the dam. Water touched 627 feet at SRBP on October 2, 30 metres higher than that recorded during the 1998 submergence.

As the upper part of the powerhouse became visible, a batch of engineers led by G. Adiseshu, Director (hydel), AP Genco, could go near it on Saturday to begin the salvage. He said water would be pumped out in a week before commencing another operation to remove the silt.

As in 1998, the task of restoring SRBP has been entrusted to BHEL engineers who will step in once the floor is cleared of silt. They are expected to check every electrical and mechanical part for rectification by way of repair or replacement.

It is presumed that the control panels, cable system and instrumentation will need replacement, while turbines and starters may undergo minor repairs.

Expert panel

K. Vijayanand, Genco MD, who is monitoring the operation, said SRBP would be readied by January for re-operation. A committee would be constituted with experts from the Central Water Commission, Central Electricity Authority and Irrigation Department to suggest ways to prevent the future submergence of SRBP. It would also ascertain if there was any need to increase height of the retention wall built during the dam’s construction, isolating SRBP from the river flow. The height was enhanced following the 1998 submergence.

Meanwhile, 20 divers from Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Raichur reached the 900 MW tunnel powerhouse on the left side of the dam to flush out some exit gates which slid into its 60-metre shaft. It will be ready for generation in ten days.

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