Leakages dampen utility of Kandaleru canal
Leakages Dampen Utility of Kandaleru Canal, d Somasila-Kandaleru Flood Canal. Concerns are rising over the frequent instances and points of leakage from the 20-year-old Somasila-Kandaleru Flood Canal over a stretch of about three km from the Somasila Reservoir. Improper supervision during the execution of the modernisation works and alleged corruption are believed to the main factors that have dented its utility so soon.
Concerns are rising over the frequent instances and points of leakage from the 20-year-old Somasila-Kandaleru Flood Canal over a stretch of about three km from the Somasila Reservoir. Improper supervision during the execution of the modernisation works and alleged corruption are believed to the main factors that have dented its utility so soon.
The leaking canal now poses the risk of floods to people, particularly those living on the banks of the Penna river, adjoining Paramananda Ashram and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple. It could also damage the approach route to the reservoir from the southern side and weaken its concrete wall. Even the reservoir’s foundation could be affected.
Consequently diversion of water to the reservoir could be hit and in such an eventuality the ayacut of about 2.5 lakh acres around the canal would be affected. The ayacut could become a desert and four villages between Rajupalem and Kaluvayi now face flood threat. There is also the danger of disruption to drinking water supply to Chennai, Tirupati, Kalahasti and Tirumala.
Leakages along the three km stretch from the Somasila reservoir, particularly in the last three years, apart from resulting in wastage of hundreds of tmc, are warning signs of the impending danger to the canal, which has a capacity of 12,000 cusecs. As things stand, the structure is fast deteriorating.
The canal was built at a cost of Rs 30 crore to take flood water from the Somasila to the Kandaleru reservoirs. The construction of the canal has been impacted by technical flaws as well – a fact that both officials and contractors have kept under wraps. Experts say that drilling and ‘carton grouting’ in the strong foundation, which help in preventing water leakage, was ignored and so also the use of concrete force blocks. Some of the flaws highlight irregularities committed by officials of the engineering department. But, top officials are understood to have swept the dirt under carpet in order to avoid creating ‘problems’ to both errant contractors and bribed supervisory staff.
When contacted, Somasila project chief engineer Somasekhar told The Hans India that proposals to plug the leakages by taking up drilling and grouting had been approved by the government.