There is a fear that rusted gates may collapse if a large amount of water is received this rainy season. Now, the crest gates and regulatory are not in a State to withstand these kind of sudden inflows.
The delay in taking up the renovation of Musi reservoir gates and canals for various reasons for years has become a cause of concern, as it poses a great danger to the people living in the downstream because a sudden inflow to reservoir could even cause a breach in the already rusted gates
The reservoir was constructed across Musi river, the tributary of Krishna in 1954. Having 3.87 tmcft storage capacity, the project was constructed with an aim to supply drinking water to eight nearby mandals and 30,000 acres of ayacut downstream.
The river has 20 gates in which 12 are crest gates and remaining eight are regulatory gates. The 12 gates are regularly lifted when the water-level reaches 645 feet, the maximum storage level. If they receive sudden inflows into reservoir, the irrigation authorities will lift the remaining eight regulatory gates to allow the water downstream to save the reservoir.
Though the regulatory gates were lifted on a few occasions due to sudden excess inflows, in the recent past the regulatory and crest gates had developed rust due to lack of maintenance such as lack of installation of rubber seals, valves. The water is also continuously leaking from the reservoir. The leakage itself amounts to 200 cusecs of water on each day.
Now, the crest gates and regulatory are not in a State to withstand these kind of sudden inflows. Last year too, the reservoir has received over 1.50 lakh cusecs, but the irrigation authorities, somehow managed by releasing 1.30 cuses of water by lifting all the 12 crest gates to maximum level. If the dam receives more now, they had to lift the remaining eight regulatory gates which are almost in a state of malfunction.
When contacted, project Assistant Engineer N.Ramesh has said the State government had issued tenders for total renovation of the gates and other works. A dam construction company grabbed the Rs. 11.87 crore project, but the works were delayed due to election code and division of state.
However, he said the works could not be taken even now as the reservoir is already having water up to 630 feet level due to rains in the upstream.
As more inflows are expected during the monsoon season, he said it could not possible to start the works until the rainy season ends. He suggested that the Contractor can start the works in November by totally drying the reservoir, which would complete in April.
A farmer living downstream, K.Maisaiah, appealed the government to start the modernisation of gates as early as possible as they are living in a state of fear.