Wednesday, July 18, 2018
MEIL Builds an Engineering Marvel Underground
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HYDERABAD, India, July 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

This is a story of the world's largest irrigation pump station built deep inside the earth's surface by Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL). A great engineering marvel, 330 meters below the ground level at Laxmipur village in Karimnagar, is taking shape and raising the hopes of farmers of several districts about getting water for irrigation. It is only apt to call it a world wonder as lift irrigation schemes on such massive scale exist nowhere in the world. Generally, pump houses for lift irrigation projects are built at ground level near river banks to pump water to higher elevation. However, Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation  Project (KLIP) is unique in this respect. The depth of this super structure is about one-third of a kilometre below the ground. A structure of such massive size is the first-of-its-kind in the world. The pump house has been built to pump 3 TMC of water per day.

        (Photo: )

Describing about the Project, Mr. B. Srinivas Reddy, Director, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL) explained, "The Ramadugu pumping station, one of the four stages of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation  Project (KLIP), is considered unique in the world due to its size, will have seven pumps each with 139 MW capacities. The discharge capacity of this single electric pump is so huge that it can fill the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad city in just a couple of days. If switched on at the same time, the seven pumps together can discharge 21,000 cusecs of water. A rare engineering feat, made possible only by MEIL."

Massive underground caverns have been excavated to construct the pump house and surge pools to lift incoming water from underground. Pumps and motors are being erected to lift water from there. This forms a very crucial part under KLIP and is popularly known as Package-8. The size of the underground work in Package-8 of the Kaleshwaram project is simply mind-boggling. Going around the pump house, nestled 330 meters underneath the ground, reminds one of visiting a huge shopping mall with multiple floors.  Scientifically and technologically, it has been found necessary to build an underground pumping station here which is considered a manmade engineering wonder. 21.6 lakh cubic meters of soil has been excavated from a depth of 130 meters beneath the surface of earth to build a power house by using 4.75 lakh cubic meters of concrete. While only a few of such massive engineering creations are found around the world, a gigantic pumping station like this is considered the first-of-its-kind. Each pump in the pumping station can discharge 89.14 cusecs of water and all the seven pumps together will lift 624 cusecs of water.

Each floor in the pump house is being built by using 87,995 square feet of concrete. While each floor in 5 units under phase one are built to an extent of 57,049 square feet, each floor in 2 units under phase two will have 30,946 square feet space. The four-floor pump house will be built essentially to house Transformer Bays, Control Rooms, Battery Room, Motor Room, LT Panels, Pump Floor and Compressors.

MEIL has taken up this challenging mission and is moving ahead with the cooperation of BHEL. The role of BHEL is supplying motors, pumps, mechanical equipment, and accessories for erection of pump house. However, the crucial part of procuring that equipment from various parts and transporting them to the project site, commencing assembling and erection operation is a job fraught with many technical challenges. MEIL, banking on its 25 years of rich technical expertise in electro-mechanical works, has been executing this job, overcoming several adversities.

Critical aspects of the pump house are erection of pumps, motors and building of tunnels and surge pools. All these works have been executed with utmost care and commitment. The huge cavern it has built under this package is found nowhere else in the world. With 140 meters deep, 25 meters wide and 65 meters in tall, the cavern is a huge structure which houses a surge pool and additional surge pool.

The Pump House is another super structure unheard of in the history of lift irrigation schemes across the world. "The Pump House Service Bay is located at +221 meters below the ground while pump bay is at +190.5 meters, transformer bay at +215 meters, control room at +209 meters beneath the earth's surface respectively. Totally 7 pumps and motors are to be installed under package 8. While 5 units will be set up under phase 1, 2 units will be built under Phase 2 of the project. Out of these 5 and 4 units are up and gone through primary trial run. Work pertaining to 1 and 2 units are going on at brisk pace and is expected completion by the end of July 2018 while work on unit 3 is under progress," said Mr. B. Srinivas Reddy, Director MEIL.

The pump house consists of two tunnels built side by side. These are called left and right tunnels. Each tunnel measuring 10.5 mts dia and 4,133 meters length has been carved out and the lining work is completed.

"We believe that, the Electro-mechanical works in this pump house are considered to be very crucial. Each motor requires 139 MW of power to run. To ensure this, power supply and transformer systems were put in place. A 160 MVA capacity pump transformer along with compressor units for the 5th unit have been set up successfully," Mr. B. Srinivas Reddy told.

What is most amazing about the project is the surge pool in the pump house. The 'surge pool' is sweeping everyone off their feet. Water gathered in the surge pool goes to the pump. Water discharged by the draft tube enters and goes up through the pump. To ensure uninterrupted pumping there should be large pool of water available in huge quantity. Three surge pools have been built to store enough water. The main surge pool measures 200x20x67.8 meters. Additional surge pool measures 60x20x69.5 meters. Likewise a transformer bay has been built beneath them. While the pump house is located 140 meters below the ground, erection of turbine pumps at a depth of 138 meters underground are unique features of the project. Each pump motor weighs around 2,376 metric tonnes that leaves you to your imagination to think how massive each pump unit is.

"MEIL is executing such complex and high-end electro-mechanical works on war footing with an objective to deliver water to the farm lands in time. Engineering teams and other skilled work force are working round the clock with maximum load equipment to achieve the desired high quality output," Mr. Reddy said.

Salient Features of the project  

- The pump house consists of the highest pumping head of 117 meters. It delivers an incredible 2 TMC of water per day
- The pump house consists of pumps with the highest capacity in the world, 89.14 cusecs each
- The project team faced a lot of challenges during the execution phase because of the magnitude of the project and the underlying complexities
- The Bottom of the surge pool, which is underwater, is at a depth of 185.52 meters. The total depth of the pump house alone is 137.5 meter.
- The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation project (Package-8) is unique in this respect.
- The total tunnel length for this pump house is 14.9 KM below ground level, located at 140 meters
- This colossal pump house, which can be defined as the heart of package-8 of this project, is built in an area of 69615 Sq ft. (for each floor)
- MEIL is in JV with BHEL to construct the pump houses for KLIP
- MEIL has been executing such complex and high-end electro-mechanical works on war footing with an objective to deliver water to the farmlands (through canals) by the target date
- KLIP-Package- 8 is an astounding man-made engineering marvel
- Projects completed using modern technologies continue to dominate headlines across the globe
- However, only a handful of projects are recognized as engineering marvels
- According to engineering experts, very few firms in the world such as MEIL possess the expertise to execute the project. The project is being built to answer many basic questions of engineering and modern technology to further develop technologies especially for pump houses, stations and other irrigation works. Generally lift irrigation schemes are designed on ground level on the banks of a River or catchment areas to pump water to draw water  

About MEIL  

Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL) established in 1989, is one of the fastest growing infra companies in India. Over the years, MEIL has constructed numerous structures like large civil constructions, oil and gas pipelines, pump houses, large water treatment plants, dams, reservoirs, power transmission lines, power generation units, tunnels - and all of them have an important role to play in improving the quality of life of the common man for many years into the foreseeable future.

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