Officials eagerly awaiting arrival of New-Delhi based firm
Uncertainty continues to loom large over condition of the 10 mgd Ramalingeswara Nagar plant, the collection well of which sank into the riverbed more than a month ago. A team from National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) inspected the 10 mgd plant at Ramaligeswara Nagar on October 13. But, the team expressed its helplessness in ascertaining whether there were any cracks in the well and if sand had accumulated on the concrete ceiling of the collection well.
The Chennai team felt that an ultrasonic test was necessary to ascertain the condition of the collection well. Following the experts' suggestion, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation officials contacted New Delhi-based AIMIL some time ago for conducting ultrasonic/sonar tests. The agency, sources say, asked the officials to remove the sand for conducting the tests. The firm is yet to confirm dates of visit by its experts to the city.
Now, the officials are waiting for the visit of the team from New Delhi. Though water is being supplied from the plant officials are not sure whether it could be restored to its installed capacity.
The officials would be able to use the 180 HP motors only if the strength of the concrete ceiling and collection well was established. The 180 HP motors created vibrations when they were run after the carrying out of few repairs immediately after the sinking of collection well. As an alternative the officials fixed motors of lower HP to restore water supply.
The experts, who inspected the well, felt that the concrete ceiling might have failed. Earlier, S. R. Gandhi, an expert from IIT Chennai, suggested that the VMC remove the silt from the well. He, however, cautioned the VMC officials against emptying the well. Prof. Gandhi felt that “ceiling concrete might have failed.”
A team of experts constituted by the State government, in its preliminary observations, felt that the sand accumulated in the collection well was obstructing the view. The NIOT team inspected the pipes that carry water from infiltration gallery to collection well-cum-pump at the plant. They found that the water pipes were clear, and there was no problem. Later, the team suggested that ultrasonic tests be conducted as the silt was obstructing the view.
The collection well sank by one-and-a-half feet on September 19. Huge cracks developed around the well sending officials into jitters. Water supply was hit in many areas affecting about three lakh people.