Apr 6, 2010

Chilamkur to Kurnool

Our maiden visit to Chilamkur Cement Works one of the many cement plants of India Cements Limited. It is located in Andhra's Kadapa district, a dry and hot place. Dad, Praveen, Anish and I in our van. We reached ICL around 1-30AM. The factory and the staff colony are near-by. Mr. Sastry of Instrumentation Department looked pretty patient even though we disturbed his sleep. He arranged for us to be put up at the guest house. We were at the guest house annexe, a sparsely furnished two bedroom house with big lizards crawling on it's cracked walls.

Later in the morning we visited the factory; instrumentation department and the plant weigh bridge were our destination. We got an opportunity to see the control room of a cement plant ...it looked pretty sophisticated. The weigh bridge was not in working condition and we were supposed to give a quote to rectify it ...make it work. It seems the system had hardly worked since the day it was installed. We studied the weigh bridge and suggested change of load cells ...overall we would be simplifying the entire mechanism. The platform was a cement cast deck and it looked real solid. If I'm not mistaken the 9m x 3m platform weighed close to 10 tonnes. The meeting was over and our next destination was Kurnool.

We left Chilamkur after breakfast and our route as suggested by local people-
  • Chilamkur
  • Proddatur
  • Jammalmadugu
  • Gollapalle
  • Kolimigundla
  • Owk
  • Banaganapalli
  • Betamcharla
  • Orvakal
  • Kurnool

We heard about Owk reservoir and decided to visit it. I remember it was Sunday but cannot recall the name of the place we bought warm beer bottles. I was the only teetotaler of the group. I wondered how these people would be drinking in hot and sunny weather. On the way to th dam we stopped at a stream to freshen ourselves. Dad put the bottles in the stream bed and let them cool. About the dam we were heading to; it was a minor river hence the dam was not a big one. The dam was open to public and we could see people all over the place ...no restrictions, no security, nothing. As we drove up the dam to get a better view of the whole place, we were shocked to see dead fish floating in water, silvery and white, lots of them ... in hundreds. We drove our van right up to the crest gates... point where cement structure meets the steel structure of the crest gates mechanism. Several steel plates were missing exposing huge gaps in the floor. One careless move here could send the person down into the reservoir. We spent some time looking around. The wall was narrow and we tried reversing the van but we could not so we went back in reverse all the way back. We picked up Dad and resumed our journey.

We stopped for lunch at a khanavali (family managed joint which serves home made food). On the menu was rice meals, chicken dishes and mutton dishes ... all in typical Andhra style. While Dad, Praveen and Anish ordered some chicken dish I settled for a veg meal. Andhra meals are spicy by default with options for extra spice. 3 types of chutneys were served, made of green, red and white chillies. Going by the colors, red was hot, green was hotter and white was guaranteed to make a turn your mouth into a blast furnace. I did not want to try out any of them ...the after effects can be ... what do is say ... mouth is not the only part that would on fire, even the stomach would be on fire. By the end of the meal Dad, Praveen and Anish were gasping for air and gulping down water.

We resumed our journey towards Kurnool. Small hills are scattered over this region with roads running through them. The journey was quite interesting ... a short stretch of road was carved over a rocky hill ... effects of light and shadow was something to be photographed but unfortunately those days we never used to carry cameras with us. We placed through many villages and small towns. One of the towns name was Owk ...I liked the name. Towns and villages between Owk and Betamcharla are full of stone cutting mills ...mostly Cuddapah stone slabs. We reached NH18... Kurnool was another 40 kilometers or so.

Years later, I realized Andhra was close to my heart ...it's people and culture are close to Karnataka's.


1 comment:

mithun... said...

hi dude im mithun n i belong to chilamakur thanks for visiting and i once again inviting u to come to our home