Vijayawada: Tests to check the structural stability of the almost 700-meter-long unstripped and exposed part of the diaphragm wall of the Polavaram irrigation project are underway from Wednesday.

Experts from the national hydroelectric power company arrived at the Polavaram irrigation project site on Tuesday for the tests. NHPC Executive Director L Kapil inspected the diaphragm wall and inquired about the preparatory work done by the water resources authorities for the tests to verify the health of the diaphragm wall.

The ED led team included A Vipul Nagar, NK Pandey and MP Singh. They would do mainly electrical resistivity and cross-sectional tomography tests.

It is planned to carry out tests on the exposed part of the diaphragm wall, over a total length of 1,400 metres. With some 700 meters of diaphragm wall in two portions, like reaches 1 and 2, having been stripped and immersed in river water, there is no chance of testing there. This would be replaced by a new wall.

Water resource authorities have two options. First, they would find out the health of the 700 meter portion of the unstripped and exposed wall. If found sound and intact, a new 700 meter diaphragm wall would be built replacing the stripped and submerged part of the wall. This would be joined to the sound diaphragm wall.

The second option is that if the unstripped part of the diaphragm wall is also damaged, there will be a new wall on the whole 1,400 meter stretch and the existing damaged diaphragm wall will be turned into a fake.

However, for the construction of part or the entire diaphragm wall, the state must import construction materials from Germany to build a 1.5 meter wide diaphragm wall. No such equipment is available here. The width of the diaphragm wall is relatively high compared to the usual size of 1 or 1.2 meters. The maximum depth from which the diaphragm wall should be built is almost 100 meters. It takes nearly a year to begin construction of Wall D after mobilizing all the necessary equipment from Germany. It should cost around 400-600 crore.

It takes almost 45-60 days to complete the tests on the D-wall. After that, a report should be prepared and submitted for approval to the stakeholder agencies such as Central Water Commission, Dam Design Review Board, Polavaram Project Authority, etc.

Polavaram Project Superintendent Engineer Narasimha Murthy said: “Assessment of the health of the unstripped and exposed portion of Wall D will be carried out via a series of tests starting on Wednesday.”

Infographics :

– Testing will help find any cracks on the existing D-wall and determine its structural stability.

– The connection of a fresh wall to the existing wall is authorized for a length, but no authorization will be granted for the height of the wall

– As the cost of construction materials has increased, an escalation of costs is likely for the construction of the D-wall

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By bfrpx

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