VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh State Irrigation Chief C Narayana Reddy responded over the incident where the 16th gate of Pulichinthala Project was washed away at 3.15 am while the engineers were trying to operate it. The inflow to the project was recorded as 1.10 lakh cusecs while outflow was two lakh cusecs at that time.
He said that "A technical problem arose during the lifting of the gates at 3.15 am after the support rope threads broke and the gate fell into the river. It all happened in a matter of seconds. In the night gates were raised to let the floodwaters down from above. The entire gates were gradually lifted to reduce the pressure as water passed through a single gate. It is not correct to say that the government and departments were not careful about the management of the barrage. We are checking the condition of the remaining girders and gates. There is no danger to the barrage. The problem will be solved by tomorrow, "he clarified
As the inflow to the project increased to over one lakh cusecs, the engineers of the project decided to operate the 16th gate also. While operating, the 16th gate got washed away. The officials swung into action and fixed the stop lock gate in place of the washed away gate. The Pulichinthala project officials may reduce the level of water by releasing more water to avoid pressure on the gates while fixing the stop lock gate. With this, the inflow to the barrage would increase from four to five lakh cusecs and people were warned not to cross the stream at this juncture.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Minister for irrigation and water resources P Anil Kumar Yadav visited the project site after the incident occurred. He examined the technical problem at gate number 16. Authorities have alerted people at the lower reaches of the Prakasam Barrage. He said two project engineers and experts have already been working on the issue and two more teams of engineering experts have been called. "We are releasing 6 lakh cusecs of water downstream and releasing it into the sea under these conditions," he said. Several ministers including Kodali Nani, Perni Nani, and Vellampalli Srinivas also visited the Pulichintala project and enquired about the incident. They said the project officials were working on war footing to resolve the issue.