The instrument is designed to play music when flood water levels reach the danger marks in the reservoir.

Officials looking at the musical flood warning system at Gandipet reservoir Twitter/Arvind Kumar
news Floods Sunday, July 25, 2021 - 10:43

As Telangana officials scrambled to save lives and property amid the recent floods and heavy rain, one senior official in Hyderabad stumbled upon a melodious musical flood warning system at the Gandipet reservoir which is now defunct. "Came across this very interesting flood warning instrument at Osman Sagar yesterday (Friday)," said Telangana Municipal Administration Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar on Saturday, July 24 about an old gramophone which is meant to function as an audible water level indicator or flood warning system. The government now plans to repair the fascinating, unused instrument.

Arvind Kumar said the gramophone plays music to alert when flood water levels reach the danger marks in the reservoir, which was built about a century ago and provides drinking water to Hyderabad city. "The gramophone plays once the water level is reaching danger mark. Each line on the gramophone record represents the actual water level," said the senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. Considering its current mute state, he promised to get it repaired as soon as possible. Mounted on a pedestal, the musical instrument was made of multiple metallic discs and a couple of cylinders.

Another picture shared by Arvind Kumar revealed components brought from England during the British rule to build the Osman Sagar dam. The component makers' identity read: 'Musi Valley Project, Gandipet. Ransomes & Rapier Ltd, Ipswich, 1914, England'. According to The New Indian Express, the gramophone was kept at the Water Museum established by Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) at Khairatabad in 2009. With the museum closing down, it was brought back to Osmansagar for preservation. 

On Friday, Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar visited Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar to review their water levels as inflows rushed in due to heavy downpour. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had dispatched Arvind Kumar to check their water levels.

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