on Tuesday almost 15 years after launching the project work. This brought the critical part of the project to near completion as the works on the first tunnel were already completed. With the chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wanting to go to elections after inauguration of the project, the irrigation department has put the entire field team on the fast track and achieved the breakthrough
The Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL), the contractor of the project, used two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) to complete the construction of two tunnels which were left in the middle by the previous contractor.
Excavation of tunnels for this project was started 15 years ago. After seeing the delay in the works, the state government roped in MEIL in 2020 and tasked it to complete the 3.6 kilometers long excavation in tunnel-I and 7.5 kilometers long excavation in tunnel-II. Meil completed the first tunnel in January 2021, in just 13 months only. “We have achieved a breakthrough in the second tunnel which is 7.5 kilometer long on Tuesday. Irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu has appreciated the officials, contract agency and the staff who worked on the successful mission,” said a senior irrigation official.
Asia’s longest conveyor belt has been used in the Veligonda tunnel project. It is 39 meters long. It is used to take out stones and mud that comes out during the excavation of the tunnels.
Meil project manager P Rambabu said that they have successfully completed the project by overcoming all the ordeals faced during the project. “Sometimes it was difficult to handle situations where we had to get fresh water through boats. But our staff and workers with teamwork achieved the target. As the entire project is situated within the Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy Tiger Sanctuary, we had to take all precautions. No work should be done here to disturb the wildlife. Everyday work would run from sunrise to sunset only. After that there should be no movement of any vehicle or machinery,” said Rambabu.
Irrigation senior official Purardhana Reddy expressed his happiness over the completion of the project work.
VELIGONDA BOON TO DROUGHT HIT REGION
State government has taken up the excavation of two tunnels from Kothur near Dornala in Prakasham district to Kollam vagu in the upper reaches of Srisailam Project in the Nallamala forest area.