Chief Minister to inaugurate the project on Independence Day
A special contingent of 200 skilled workers and engineers has been rushed to Pulichintala dam along with machinery to complete its left out works in 18 days, including erection of the remaining crest-gates, and spruce it up for inauguration by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Independence Day.
The government has taken this emergency step being alarmed at the early setting in of the flood season in the Krishna river this year that threatens to disrupt the work and indefinitely postpone the inauguration.
Final touches are being given to the dream project of engineer-statesman Dr. K.L. Rao fittingly named after him, by 120-strong workforce toiling round the clock. During his last days, Dr. Rao, immobilised by ill-health and age, reached Jaggaihapet but he was mistaken for a pilgrim wanting to visit the nearby Vedadri temple.
The people, who gathered around his vehicle, were surprised when they came to know that he was Dr. Rao and his visit was to a “modern temple” instead-- Pulichintala, that lies 115 km downstream of Nagarjunasagar, world’s highest masonry dam he had designed.
Dr. Rao’s dream to provide assured waters to Krishna delta (15 lakh acres) irrespective of availability in Nagarjunasagar was partially fulfilled when N.T. Rama Rao laid the foundation stone for Pulichintala in 1988. By coincidence, Dr. Rao’s daughter, K. Sujatha Rao, a senior IAS officer, worked under him. Such stone was first laid by a Britisher Ellies in 1906.
Works were taken up during the tenure of N. Chandrababu Naidu but had to be abandoned following attacks on men and machinery by some MLAs. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who took these MLAs into confidence, grounded the works in 2004. Seventeen out of 24 crest-gates planned have been installed on Pulichintala dam so far.
Nonetheless, only a partial storage of 15 tmcft (instead of 45 tmcft as envisaged) will be impounded in its reservoir now as a precaution taken for any dam during the first storing to test the strength of its earthen dam, says D. Sambaiah, chief engineer.
While 15 villages in Guntur district and 13 in Nalgonda will be submerged at full level, the 15-tmcft storing will not need any evacuation.