ANDHRA PRADESH

State to revise dam safety manual

M. Malleswara Rao

HYDERABAD: The government has decided to revise the manual it is implementing to ensure safety to the dams in the State, particularly Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar.

Disclosing this to The Hindu here on Monday, S. P. Tucker, Principal Secretary, Irrigation, said experts would be asked to prepare a new manual specifying fresh guidelines to fill and deplete the reservoirs under Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar, Prakasam Barrage and other projects across the Krishna and the projects across the Godavari and other rivers.

He said there were no guidelines in the present manual on ways and means of handling the situation of the inflows if Srisailam dam exceeded its designed handling capacity of 13.5 lakh cusecs.

Yet, engineers did a commendable job when the inflows into the dam reached a high of 25.5 lakh cusecs on October 3 which was described as ‘maximum probable flood’ in the river in 10,000 years.

As part of the new dam safety plan, satellite-linked digital sensors would be installed at the gauging stations of the Krishna river so that details about its inflows could be instantly intimated to the government, enabling it to launch immediate action to avert an impending danger.

Vigil

He said the flood banks of the Krishna downstream of Prakasam Barrage at Vjayawada would not have remained safe but for the 10 to 15 lakh farmers-members of the Water Users’ Associations who maintained a round-the-clock vigil and strengthened their weak points to avoid breaches.