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    Medigadda deemed ‘ineffective’

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    A Central panel on dam safety criticized the Telangana government for the sinking of pillars in the Medigadda Barrage. The incident has rendered the structure useless unless it is fully rehabilitated. The Medigadda Barrage is part of the Kaleshwaram project, which is the world’s largest lift irrigation scheme and cost Rs 80,000 crore.
    According to the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) report, the sinking of the piers was caused by issues with planning, design, quality control, and operation and maintenance. The primary reason for the failure is the settlement of the barrage raft, which caused the piers to settle, move, and crack. This could be due to factors such as piping, inadequate foundation material capacity, and construction deficiencies.
    The report also highlighted deficiencies in project planning and design. The barrage was designed as a floating structure but constructed as a rigid structure. The construction methodology for transverse cut-offs imposed different conditions than what was assumed in the design. Additionally, the maintenance of the barrage has been lacking since its commissioning in 2019-20.
    The NDSA criticized the dam managers for not conducting regular inspections or maintenance of the barrage. They had requested pre and post-monsoon inspections to check for any signs of distress, but this was not carried out.
    Overall, the NDSA report highlights various issues with the Medigadda Barrage and calls for its full rehabilitation to make it functional again. It also raises concerns about the compliance of the Telangana government with dam safety rules and regulations.

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