Officials with the Mission Baghiratha on Saturday demolished the 60,000 litre overhead tank at Nagarkurnool district in Telangana that had developed a 30-degree tilt. Officials say the tank, commissioned barely three months ago, was demolished to avoid the risk of damage to another overhead tank located a few meters away.
It was on Thursday that locals of Dindichintapalli village of Vanguru Mandal noticed a 30-degree tilt on the overhead tank, constructed at the cost Rs 15 lakh as part of Mission Bagiratha, the drinking water supply project of the Telangana government. On Saturday, officials from the vigilance team of the Panchayath Raj Department visited the location to take stock of the situation and instructed the department officials to demolish the structure using a JCB.
"There is another tank nearby, barely 4 to 6 meters away, and the overhead tank was tilted towards that tank. So the vigilance team gave instructions that the tank be demolished to avoid the risk of this structure falling on the other tank. A new overhead tank will be built in its place," said Shreedar Rao, Executive Engineer with the Mission Bhagiratha Project, who is in charge of the Vanguru mandal division. The Mission Bhagiratha Project is executed by the Department of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development.
The liability of building the new overhead tank lies with the contractor. "There is a liability period of two years and so there will be no additional cost to the state exchequer,” said Shreedhar. The officials had pinned the reason for the tank tilting to the soil and have undertaken fresh soil tests.
The construction for the structure began in 2017 but was abandoned by the first contractor who did the initial soil test. A new contractor was brought in later to finish the work in 2019.
There are about 601 such overhead tanks in Nagarkurnool and the contractor has won tenders to build 10 such overhead tanks, informed the official, adding that action against the contractor will be taken only after an inquiry by the vigilance department.
"The vigilance team have undertaken a trial soil test. The work for the new foundation of the overhead tanker has already begun," informed Shreedar.
The Mission Bhagiratha project, built at a cost of Rs 45,028 crore, involves building over 1.3 lakh kilometres of drinking water pipes. The overhead tanker that tilted at the village was part of the 36,087 overhead service reservoirs being constructed as part of the project.