Chennai

What led to the KRP dam mishap?

Water gushing out of shutter 1 as the breach remained to be contained in KRP dam in Krishnagiri. N. Bashkaran   | Photo Credit: N_BASHKARAN

A day after the breach in the KRP dam, a Public Works Department official explaining its potential cause said, generally, the pressure is highest at the centre of the shutter, and the shutter tends to bend to a partial oval shape. Any damage from the central pressure is borne by the sides, he said.

“The shutter was breached on its sides, which further aggravated the impact of water velocity and pressure,” he told The Hindu requesting anonymity.

The gate groove or slot is the recess in which the gate or the shutter seats or rests. It is packed with a rubber sheet to prevent corrosion and to tightly pack the shutter in the groove seat to prevent leakage.

“The rubber sheet may have been of low quality causing corrosion,” he said.

The shutter is supported by a grid of horizontal girders or stiffeners. It lends the structural support to the shutter. In this case, as part of the repair works undertaken in 2016 under DRIP, some stiffeners were also repaired.

Against this understanding, The Hindu looked up the Pudukottai-based contractor Pothigai Enterprises, which was awarded the contract for the KRP dam repair works under DRIP.

A search did not return a website for the contractor. However, the Dam Safety Directorate’s website listed the contractor Kan Abdul Kafar Khan of Pothigai Enterprises for two “hydro-mechanical” works carried out at a cost of ₹1.10 crore and ₹75 crore, but without mentioning the name of the dam.

Attempts to contact the contractor Abdul Kafar Khan went in vain.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 4:37:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/what-led-to-the-mishap/article21239260.ece

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