Bolisetty seeks apology from Anil Kumar Yadav

‘Minister had cast aspersions on experts when they called for repairs to Srisailam dam’

November 01, 2020 12:47 am | Updated 12:47 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

National Convener of Jal Biradari, Bolisetty Satyanarayana, said that Minister of Irrigation (Water Resources) P. Anil Kumar Yadav did not heed the advice of experts such as Waterman of India Rajendra Singh who had cautioned that the Srisailam dam was in urgent need of repairs.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Satyanarayana said that the Minister said that there is no issue with the dam and dismissed it as mere propaganda by the opposition party. The Minister even accused Dr. Rajendra Singh of joining hands with the opposition, Mr. Satyanarayana claimed.

“But now, he has to take back his words, as it is learnt that the Chief Minister himself had initiated a committee to look into the matter and the committee has recommended immediate repair works to the tune of ₹900 crore,” Mr. Satyanarayana said.

“Since the dam is catering to the needs of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has written a letter to Jal Shakti Ministry to advise the Telangana Government to share the cost of repairs to the plunge pool,” he said.

Sharing details about the damage to the dam, Mr. Satyanarayana said the former Superintendent Engineer (Irrigation) K. Haranath had stated that dam protection works should be undertaken periodically, but no such works had been done since 2003. “No effort was made to replace the concrete apron after its erosion. The rock below the apron was relatively soft quartzite interbedded with a shale band that was getting scoured easily, and a cavity of 4,500 cubic metres was found in blocks 8 and 11 of the apron in 2002 but only 143 cubic metres could be filled,” Mr. Satyanarayana said quoting Mr. Haranath.

Mr. Satyanarayana further pointed out that in February 2019, Superintendent Engineer M. Sreenivas Reddy of Srisailam dam had said that all repairs to the dam had been carried out as per the suggestions of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, which had conducted a detailed study of the dam.

With regard to the ‘plunge pool’ that is formed by water falling from a height, Mr Reddy said the NIO had video-recorded the formation. Any advisory it gives would be implemented. The plunge pool was formed in an extent of 400 metres, out of the total length of 594.36 metres. The water impact has been meticulously studied, it is learnt.

Dr. Rajendra Singh’s team visited the dam site and interacted with the officials and noticed that plunge pool filling is not done and it could damage the Srisailam dam, as the geology of the soil has horizontal fractures. He cautioned the State Government to take necessary care and advised that in case of shortage of funds, they can approach the Union Government to sanction funds under Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project II (DRIP II).

Despite all these developments, Mr. Anil Kumar Yadav had sought to cast aspersions on the experts, Mr. Satyanarayana said.

“We demand an unconditional apology from the Minister for his comments against Magsaysay awardee Dr. Rajendra Singh and urge the government to initiate immediate steps to prevent further damage to the dam,” he said.

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