Unprecedented flood in Godavari damages Kaleshwaram pump houses

Two key pump houses of the project submerged; Uncertainty over lifting water for this crop season 

July 15, 2022 06:35 pm | Updated 06:36 pm IST - HYDERABAD

An unprecedented flood in the river Godavari has left a massive trail of loss to the prestigious Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project by submerging two of its five key pump houses linked to Medigadda and Annaram Barrages and the facility linked to Sundilla Barrage just escaped the nature’s fury as flood level started receding before water reached it.

The submergence of two pump houses also push the ayacut under irrigation systems and tanks that were being given water for the last five years into uncertainty. The project played a key role in boosting foodgrains, particularly paddy, production in Telangana.

According to the project authorities the flood level in Godavari at Kaleshwaram, located in the upstream of Medigadda Barrage surpassed the previous highest level of 107.05 metres, recorded in the 1986 floods, and crossed 108 metres early on Thursday and touched 110 metres in the wee hours of Friday.

At Medigadda Barrage, the peak flood was measured/recorded as about 28.71 lakh cusecs. However, it is in the process of receding since morning and at 12.30 p.m. on Friday it was at 28.58 lakh cusecs, receded further to 27.65 lakh cusecs at 2 p.m. and at 4 p.m. it was 26.91 lakh cusecs.

The rising flood waters of Godavari first entered Annaram pump house followed by Medigadda. The pump houses are located at Kasipeta and Kannepalli villages in the upstream of the barrages. The two pump houses have 17 and 12 motors, respectively, all of 40 megawatt capacity.

The pumps/motors include the provision for lifting the additional one tmc ft a day planned by the State government and awaiting clearances from the regulatory agencies such as Central Water Commission (CWC).

All pumps/motors and their control rooms of the pump houses at Kannepalli and Kasipeta have submerged and the engineers and other staff stationed there were moved to safety in boats after hours of efforts.

Engineers of the project said flood from Sriramsagar-Kaddam-Yellampally projects and all other rivulets and streams in the upstream increased the flood level and the impact of huge flood from Pranahitha slowed down the flow of water coming from Yellampally side and jacked up the water level in the river bed and spilled it over to enter the pump houses at Kasipeta (Annaram) first and Kannepally (Medigadda) later.

Advisor to the State government on Lift Irrigation projects K. Penta Reddy said in a statement that what happened was the result of natural calamity beyond the human control. “Pump houses are constructed abutting the river courses and it’s a natural phenomenon that flood enters them when it goes up abnormally,” he stated.

There were incidents of pump-houses’ submergence in the past, including the one at Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation project (twice), and the facility was restored within a few months, Mr. Penta Reddy said.

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