Seismometer, key devices at Jayakwadi dam go ‘out of order’

Aurangabad: The seismometer, which helps in measuring the magnitude of an earthquake, and several other key instruments installed at the Jayakwadi dam in the district, have stopped functioning properly, an official said on Sunday.

According to the official, the retired staff of the Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute (MERI), who have expertise in repairing these devices, are being roped in to get them fixed.

“The seismometer was installed at the Jayakwadi dam after the devastating earthquake in Killari in Latur district in 1993. This instrument is powerful as it has a range of 10,000 kms. In the past, it has recorded the epicentres of earthquakes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Nepal, etc,” executive engineer Rajendra Kale said.

“But this and other instruments, like piezometer, earth pressure cell and slope meter, have been out order since the last two years. Every instrument is important and we are trying to get them repaired soon or get new ones as early as possible,” he said.

While a piezometer measures the pressure of a liquid or gas, or something related to pressure, an earth pressure cell monitors pressure distribution on foundation. A slope meter measures the angles of slope, elevation or depression of an object.

“The retired staff of the MERI has the expertise to repair these instruments. We have contacted those retired personnel and requested them to visit Jayakwadi for repairing the seismometer. We hope to get it repaired within a week. If the repair work does not yield positive results then we will seek permission to purchase a new seismometer,” Kale said.