RIVER MUSI – HYDERABAD (Part-3)
By C. Sarvotham Rao
4.0 The principal engineer of the public works department (P.W.D.) of state government was Mr. T.D.Mackenzie (an officer from Madras Govt.) Govt of India, having come to know about the desire of the Nizam, to control the flood damage to the city of Hyderabad informed that Inspector – General of Irrigation of Government of India (Sir Michel Ethersol), can be deputed to Hyderabad, to advise and assist, in the execution of the proposed flood control measures.
4.1 The Nizam politely refused the offer of help. He instructed! The Government, to search and secure an Indian Engineer for the project. There must have been very strong reason for him to refuse the suggestions of Government of India and decide for an Indian Engineer – (was it the 1905 Berar Agreement, forced on him by Viceroy Lord Curzon?)
5.0 Sri M. Visvesvaraya, a Superintending Engineer in irrigation department of Government of Bombay was selected by the Nizam’s Government. A request was sent accordingly to the Government of Bombay to depute him to Hyderabad. But the Engineer was on leave, and was travelling in Europe. An urgent message was sent to him (via the Home office in London). He was in Milan (Italy) when the information reached him. He sent a reply to the Hyderabad Government (29-10-1908) agreeing to take up the project subject to his terms and conditions for accepting the assignment. The Hyderabad Government agreed to his terms and requested him to join duty as early as possible.
5.1 A Bombay English newspaper – Bombay gazette, made the following remarks in the paper “What kind of an expert, this Indian Engineer could be, that demanded and obtained the salary of the Revenue Commissioner”.
5.2 Sri M.Visvesvaraya, reported for duty on 15th April, 1909 and was posted as a special consulting Engineer. He was requested to attend to the following:
i. To prepare a report for the reconstruction of Hyderabad City which was damaged due to the recent Musi floods and to suggest measures, for the protection of the city from such future floods, of Musi River;
ii. To prepare a complete scheme for drainage, for the city and Chadarghat area (where British Residency was located).
1.3 The preparation of the modern drainage scheme and proposing the protection works of the city, required huge collection of large amount of available and additional data. Detailed survey of the entire catchment area was undertaken. A number of Engineers and surveyors were required for the field work. Some staff was made available, by the regular state P.W.D. The balance staff and officers were recruited by Sri. Visvesvaraya, from Bombay Province, where he knew many qualified, technically skilled persons. As the engineering aspect of the problem was investigated and the survey data tabulated it was investigated and the survey data tabulated it was clear, that an extent of 425000 cusecs of water was carried by the river during the fateful floods on 28th September 1908. This was an unusual discharge, of water (indicating an intensity of ¾ inch rain per hour) from the catchment of 862 Sw miles.
It was therefore decided to impound such flood waters by creating adequate storage capacity for it. Two reservoirs were therefore proposed to be constructed above the city, [one on River Musi and the other on the Esi River]. An estimated total storage capacity of 20,389 million cft was therefore proposed to be created [Musi reservoir 8439 million ctf and Esi reservoir, 11950 million c.f.t. proposals were also made to raise the river banks in the city and converting such portions of banks, into, parks and gardens. (Contd…4)