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Expert panel draws up plan to prevent landslips

An expert committee appointed by the endowments department for execution of works to prevent the boulders rolling down Indrakeeladri will submit its budget estimates to Commissioner P Arjuna Rao by December 25, official sources said.

On October 21, huge boulders loosened and rolled down Indrakeeladri, following heavy rains. Three persons suffered minor injuries and the incident created panic among devotees as it happened a few hours before Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s visit to the hill shrine. Taking a serious note of the issue, the endowments department has constituted two committees to come up with a permanent solution for the problem.

A committee led by geological expert Trimurthy inspected the hill shrine and drafted a detailed report mentioning their findings and forwarded it to IIT Madras professors. In their findings, they have identified seven places which are prone to landslips and suggested the temple authorities to arrange sensors near the identified places on the hill shrine to alert the staff to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future. Both the committees submitted their findings to the endowments department in the first week of November, officials said.

Speaking to TNIE, temple executive engineer D Bhaskar said that boulders rolled down the ghat road whenever it rained heavily. A few years ago, the devasthanam had spent `5 crore towards providing shotcrete treatment for some portion of the hill shrine and installed iron rods to prevent boulders from rolling down the hill by spraying cement on it, while iron fencing was installed for the remaining portion of the hill. However, the measures taken by the temple provided only a temporary relief. With the boulders rolling down the hill during the Dasara festivities, the devasthanam has decided to find a permanent solution to the problem, he said.

Elaborating further, the EE said that as part of the plan, a protection wall will be constructed down Indrakeeladri and a drain atop the hill to prevent rainwater from falling on the ghat road leading to the temple.

“We are expecting the committee to submit its budget estimates by December 25. The same will be forwarded to the State government for its approval. Tenders will be invited through e-procurement in the last week of December. Instructions will be given to the firm entrusted with the task to complete the works before the onset of monsoon,” Bhaskar said.