Irrigation engineers told to be on their toes for dam, network safety

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 19:29:45 

With another spell of heavy rain forecast for the catchment areas of Krishna and Godavari rivers and their tributaries at least for five days from Monday, the State government has instructed engineers of irrigation department to step up vigil on the installations and told the supervisory officers/engineers to be in their headquarters.

The instructions assume significance in the wake of flooding of the Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation Project (LIP) pump house at Yellur in Nagarkurnool district on Friday, making the facility non-functional and forcing farmers and people depending on water pumped from it into uncertainty over their irrigation and drinking water needs.

In the instructions issued to all superintending, executive, deputy executive and assistant executive engineers of irrigation units, the government asked them to be in their headquarters so that they could take all precautionary measures in advance to safeguard the irrigation network in their purview.

Their responsibility is to see that all the rain water is safely discharged into the downstream network and to report any damage within 24 hours of occurrence indicating nature of the damage, estimating the amount required for temporary repairs and funds needed for permanent restoration, a senior officer of the department stated. Besides, they are also supposed to make a detailed report to the government on the damage.

In case any officer/engineer was found to be not following the instructions issued by the government, it would be the responsibility of the superior officer to report the same to the government for initiating action against those indulging in dereliction of duties, the source said.

With the prolonged flood season still active, the authorities of Nagarjunasagar dam, one of the two common reservoirs of Telugu states managed by Telangana, has taken up round-the-clock patrolling of the dam and its systems, including posting deputy executive engineers (DEEs) on night duties on turn basis.

It is being done to ensure proper watch over the dam safety and patrolling during the night until the water level recedes to 570 feet against the full reservoir level of 590 feet being maintained for about a couple of months now, the officer said, adding that a total of 18 DEEs have been drawn for patrolling duties till the month-end.

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