A cavity formed on the Nagarjunasagar Right Canal at Chandravanka aqueduct on Wednesday morning sent panic waves among farmers.
With the Nagarjunasagar reservoir filled to the brim, water releases into the Right Canal have been stepped up to 11,000 cusescs.
Gushing waters spilled on and inundated fields at Lingampalli village in Macherla mandal forcing the Irrigation and Revenue officials to rush to the spot. Repair works are going on when reports last came in.
Water outflow was being regulated for the next three days with discharges beyond Bugga Vagu to be limited to 8,000 cusecs.
The outflow to the canal leading to Macherla is expected to be about 1,000 cusecs. Transplantation of crops is expected to be affected due to regulation of water releases to carry out repairs.
“This is not definitely a breach. An internal cavity was formed due to piping action and water overflowed the bunds. We are taking up repairs and expect to resume the full discharges within four days,” said Superintendent Engineer, Nagarjunasagar Canals, Lingamguntla, Sansyasi Naidu.
The incident brought the focus back on the long-pending Nagarjunasagar Right Canal (NSRC) repair and modernisation works. The works, which have been taken up with an outlay of Rs.4,445 crore, including a World Bank aid of Rs.2,025 crore, have virtually come to a standstill. Irrigation engineers apprehend that just about 30-40 per cent of works could have been completed. Irrigation engineers said that the cavity could have been formed after the soil had become loosened due to digging by bandicoots and pests.
With the upper soil losing its toughness, the internal soil gave away to the force of gushing water.