Telangana

No work on Palamuru-RR first-stage pump house for last 6 months

The entrance of a service tunnel that leads to the main tunnel to draw water from the foreshores of Srisailam reservoir to the head pump house of Palamuru-Rangareddy project in Nagarkurnool district.

The entrance of a service tunnel that leads to the main tunnel to draw water from the foreshores of Srisailam reservoir to the head pump house of Palamuru-Rangareddy project in Nagarkurnool district.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

₹120 cr is spent on tunnel work as part of drawing water to pump house already

Lack of clarity on the drawal of water from the foreshores of Srisailam reservoir — either through open channel or tunnel — for the first stage (head) of pumping has halted works pertaining to the head pump house of Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Project for about six months now.

Works on the package-one taken up with a cost of ₹3,200 crore includes construction of an approach channel from Srisailam reservoir foreshores to the underground pump house and construction of underground surge pool and pump house near Yellur of Kollapur mandal in Nagarkurnool district. Although the work was taken up in March 2017 it has made very little progress till the work came to a halt in August last week last year, mainly due to the delay in securing forest clearances.

“It was initially planned to draw water through an open canal from Srisailam reservoir foreshores to the pump house planned near Vepalacheruvu and also to have an on-ground pump house. However, the delay occurred in getting the forest clearances, particularly due to a petition filed against it by a politician in the Opposition party then, forced us to go for tunnel which required lesser forest land only for the approach channel,” a senior engineer working for the project explained.

Forest approval

Work on the access tunnel and the main tunnel began after securing the first stage forest approval in April 2018 and it could be speeded up in February 2019 after securing the second stage approval. The approach channel would run for 2.2 km and there would be three tunnels running for a length of 876 meters.

The work has been stalled after spending ₹120 crore on the tunnel work with the instructions from higher-up to consider open channel drawal of water again. “The amount spent so far would go waste and the tunnels excavated so far have to be filled with soil again to prevent caving-in in future with more expenditure. Besides, clarity on the number of pumps to be installed in the pump house is also lacking now,” the engineer stated.

Work halted

During a visit to the work site recently, it was found that the access tunnel is being guarded by a few personnel of the contract firm and no machinery is kept there except a generator for lighting purpose. As per the project report, the head pump house would have eight pump with a capacity of 145 MW each for lifting 3,000 cusecs water each for 104 meters height and also a stand-by pump to lift 2 tmc ft water a day.

“We are puzzled about the pump house works as we have been told to plan for only four pumps besides a stand-by pump to lift only one-tmc ft a day in the recent months,” another engineer of the project said, unwilling to be quoted.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:48:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/no-work-on-palamuru-rr-first-stage-pump-house-for-last-6-months/article30883199.ece

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