Hyderabad: A gramophone-like flood warning instrument that used to record water levels at Osman Sagar during the Nizam’s era is likely to get a new lease of life with the government mulling over repairing it as soon as possible.
On Saturday, Municipal Administration and Urban Development principal secretary Arvind Kumar said on Twitter: “Came across this very interesting flood warning instrument at Osman Sagar yesterday. The gramophone plays once water level is reaching danger mark. Each line on the gramphone record represents actual water level. Will try & get it repaired asap (sic).”
The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) has been preserving the defunct rare instrument, manufactured by M/s Geo Kent Ltd, London and Luton, for several years now.
The Nizam had installed it in 1920 after constructing one of the main drinking water sources of the twin cities, the Osman Sagar reservoir.
Every day, a waterman used to go on horseback to the reservoir to note down the reservoir levels. To get just one reading, he used to spend an entire day there. Since this was time-consuming, the Nizam held discussions with engineering officials and made a device installed that measures water levels at Osman Sagar.
The audible water level indicator was used to record the water level and also used to give flood threats through a gramophone which was audible at the head office of Water Works at Goshamahal.
Earlier, attempts were made to restore it to working order. But the efforts were vain. In 2009, it was kept at the Water Museum opened at the Water Board head office in Khairatabad. The museum had to shut down and the instrument was shifted to Salar Jung Museum. Now it is back to its original place at Osman Sagar.