Updated: March 14, 2021 9:06:37 pm
After the 2015 flash floods damaged three floodgates of the Bhadar dam, the second largest reservoir of Saurashtra, the state irrigation department began replacing all its 29 floodgates and is likely to complete the work by April end.
Engineers of Rajkot Irrigation Projects Circle of the irrigation department said the work on replacing all the floodgates of the dam started in January and is expected to be completed by the end of the next month.
“As per the latest status, 14 floodgates have already been replaced. Our target is to complete the work by end-March,” Shailesh Patel, the executive engineer of (RIPC), said.
Located at Lilakha village in Gondal taluka Rajkot, Bhadar dam has a gross storage capacity of 188.14 million cubic metres (mcm), the second-highest in the Saurashtra region after the Shetrunji dam. “Construction work for this dam started in 1952 and water for irrigation from it was given to farmers for the first time in 1963. The gates were quite old and needed to be replaced. Officials from the Dam Safety Organisation (DSO) had also visited the dam some time ago and it was felt that the gates needed to be replaced,” a source in the irrigation department said.
Each of the 29 floodgates is six-foot high and 35-foot long. “Vertical girders supporting the floodgates had started rusting and weakening.
“An inspection by the Gujarat Engineering Research Institute (GERI), Vadodara, recently had recommended that the gates should be replaced. Dam Safety Organisation of Central Water Commission had also made similar recommendations,” Patel said. The executive engineer added the gates of the dams are being replaced after around 65 years.
The floodgate numbers 11, 14, and 28 were damaged following an unprecedented inflow of water in Bhadar dam due to a flash flood caused by a cloudburst in its catchment area in Amreli district in June 2015. Sill-beams of these gates were damaged as vehicles like tractors, tractor-trollies and large trees crashed into the dam structure after being washed away in the flash flood. The irrigation department had then restored the structure by undertaking some repairing work.
“Rules mandate that fresh coat of paint be applied to the gates every three years. Before a fresh coat is applied, the gates are sandblasted to remove corrosion. For the past few cycles, gates gauge was found to have substantially reduced due to the process of corrosion, warranting their replacement,” another officer added.
Anar Construction Private Limited of Ahmedabad has been awarded the work of replacing the floodgates at a total cost of Rs 1.66 crore. The private firm is forging parts of the floodgates at its factory and assembling them at the dam site after transporting them there. Each gate has three parts, engineers said.
“The wire-ropes of the gates were replaced post the flash flood in 2015 and, therefore, the present contract doesn’t include replacing the wire-ropes,” said an officer.
Besides being a major irrigation scheme, Bhadar dam also supplies drinking water to Rajkot city.
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