Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP): Instrumentation & Monitoring of Dams

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) is one of the most important initiatives that is taken up by the Government of India. The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capabilities and improve the health of existing Indian dams.


DRIP Project Overview

CWC (Central Water Commission) proposed to install geotechnical, geodetic, hydro-meteorological, and seismic instruments in old dams under the DRIP program, as instrumentation plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of dams.

The objective of optimum dam instrumentation is to select the most sensitive parameters that will change significantly before any failure and monitor the behavior of dams in these parameters precisely, to develop the rehabilitation measures or to plan an effective risk management strategy. The instrumentation was mainly required for the dam body and for the reservoir and catchment area.

It was decided to automate the whole process of data collection, data processing, and its analysis, presentation, and interpretation. This would help in taking appropriate and corrective action timely and prevent any failure/damage to the structure and its neighborhood.

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) has several States under its umbrella. This includes Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and many more. The total number of states tallies up to 19 and this DRIP project is one of the most extensive programs that has ever been taken up by the country.

Established in 1966, with over 57 years of experience, Encardio Rite has solidified its place among the top world leaders. With their reliable and accurate technology, Enacardio Rite provides world-class geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring services, which proved to be very crucial and played an important role in the DRIP projects.

Encardio Rite has so far won the contracts for real-time monitoring of 58 dams in India under different projects such as:

  • Idukki HEP DRIP Project – Real-time structural health monitoring & early warning system
  • Kerala Irrigation DRIP Project – Real-time structural health monitoring of 16 dams
  • TNWRD Pollachi DRIP Project – Real-time structural health monitoring of 17 dams
  • TANGEDCO I and II DRIP Project – Real-time structural health monitoring of 24 dams

Keeping both, their integrity and precisely-engineered technology in mind, Encardio Rite was entrusted with restoring the nation’s pride.


Idduki Dam Project

Idduki Dam Project

Being the highest arc dam in the whole of Asia, the Idukki dam holds a special place in both, Encardio Rite’s catalog and the DRIP project. Located across the Periyar River, Idukki is a concrete, double-curvature parabolic dam that stands 168.91m tall. The dam is owned by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), and along with two other major dam projects in India, Cheruthoni, and Kulamanu, they harness the largest river, Periyar, in Kerala.

Under the initiative of the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project, Encardio Rite was assigned to monitor the Idukki Dam.

Solutions Offered

Idduki Dam

With our incredible foresight and trusted services, Encardio Rite won the contract for Real-Time Early Warning Structure Health Monitoring and Data Interpretation (RESHMI) for Idukki HEP. Encardio Rite successfully carried out the supply and installation works of geotechnical, geodetic, hydro-meteorological sensors, dataloggers, and robotic total stations. Real-time monitoring was done with our in-house data management software Drishti, which provided data 24×7 at the client’s fingertips, along with instant alerts for preset alarms.


With our extensive knowledge and experience, we also conducted training programs for the KSEB site team. It included both classroom and field training.

| Also Read: Monitoring One of the Highest Arc Dams in Asia – Idukki Dam Case Study |

Kerala Irrigation DRIP Project

Kanjira Puzha dam

Kanjira Puzha dam

Malampuzha dam

Malampuzha dam

Neyyar dam

Installation of automatic water level recorder at Neyyar dam

The project included real-time structural health monitoring of 16 dams. The monitored parameters for the dam body are the temperature of concrete, uplift pressure, reservoir water level, seepage, opening/closing of contraction joints to changes that take place in climatic conditions, rainwater, seismic effects, and deformations.

The 16 dams included in this project are:

  1. Neyyar
  2. Kallada (Parappar)
  3. Chimoni
  4. Chulliar
  5. Kanjira Puzha
  6. Malampuzha
  7. Malankara
  8. Meenkara
  9. Moolathara Reg.
  10. Pazhassi Barrage
  11. Peechi
  12. Bhoothatahkettu Barrage
  13. Pothundy
  14. Vazhany
  15. Walayar
  16. Kuttiyadi

Solutions offered

Instrumentation used includes geotechnical sensors like automatic water level sensors, temperature meters, tilt meters, joint meters, uplift gauge, seepage monitoring device, normal plumb line, rain gauge with dataloggers for automatic data collection and wireless data transfer; geodetic settlement plates and survey markers with an automatic total station and strong motion accelerographs.

Scope of works included

  • Supply of geotechnical and geodetic sensors
  • Installation and intergration
  • Testing and commissioning
  • Training – classroom and on-site training with periodic visits
  • Real-time monitoring

The instrumentation and commissioning works have been successfully completed by the Encardio Rite team for this project, for all 16 dams.

The installed sensors provide satisfactory data, which is collected by suitable data loggers and transmitted wirelessly to a local data center and from there to the main data control room. The real-time is available to all stakeholders 24×7, for quick evaluation and interpretation. The database system provides instant alarms via SMS and emails for values crossing pre-set alert values.

TNWRD Pollachi DRIP Project

Krishnagiri dam

Krishnagiri dam

Perunchani dam

Perunchani dam

Installation of an uplift sensor in the dam gallery of Aamravathy dam

Perunchani Dam

Installation of automatic water level recorder at Perunchani Dam

The project included the Supply, Installation, Testing, Commissioning, Training, and Maintenance of Real-Time Structural Health Monitoring Instrument System in 17 DRIP Dams of the Water Resources Department in the state of Tamil Nadu.

The project objective is to improve the safety and operational performance of existing dams under DRIP. The DRIP project activities focused not only on the rehabilitation and improvement of dam structures but also addressed shortcomings in instrumentation for improvements in the operation of the dams. This will help in managing and monitoring the long-term performance of the dams. The intention is to have full reservoir capacity of dams, achieve effective utilization of stored water, keep the dams safe, respond to changing water demands, and keep the downstream population safe from floods.

The dams included in his project are:

  1. Sholayar
  2. Mettur
  3. Bhavanisagar
  4. Amaravathi
  5. Sathanur
  6. Manimuthar
  7. Vaigai
  8. Pechiparai
  9. Krishnagiri
  10. Perunchani
  11. Parambikulam
  12. Aliyar
  13. Redhills
  14. Chembarapakkam
  15. Cholavaram
  16. Veeranam
  17. Sothuparai

Solution offered

The monitoring system includes geotechnical sensors, dataloggers, wireless data transmission, and real-time data monitoring software. The system is capable of

  • Continuous monitoring of data from installed sensors in the Dam.
  • Incorporate the historical instrumentation data available
  • Accept manual observations of non-automated sensors, as well as additional manual geodetic data.

Instrumentation used includes geotechnical sensors like automatic weather stations, automatic water level sensors, uplift pressure sensors, joint meters, piezometers, seepage monitoring devices; geodetic settlement plates, and survey markers with the automatic total station; GNSS; seismographs, accelerographs, etc.

Read more: Under Pressure: The Journey of Monitoring Dams From Within

Scope of works included

  • Supply of geotechnical and geodetic sensors
  • Installation and intergration
  • Testing and commissioning
  • Training – classroom and on-site training with periodic visits
  • Real-time monitoring

The data from installed sensors are obtained and collected automatically by the dataloggers at the required frequency. The data loggers are capable of wireless data transmission to transfer the data to the central control unit located at the Research & Dam Safety Organisation Office located at the Office of the Chief Engineer, O&M, Chepauk, Chennai.

Encardio Rite is currently (as of Jan 2022) working on this project – on the installation and commissioning of instrumentation, data logging, and database management system.



Kundahpalam Dam

Kundahpalam Dam

Glenmorgan Dam

Glenmorgan Dam

Under the Tangedco (Tamil Nadu Water Resource Department) I & II project, 24 existing dams are to be rehabilitated, which comes under the DRIP program. The DRIP program mainly consists of three components i.e.

  1. Rehabilitation and Improvement of Dam and Associated Appurtenances;
  2. Dam Safety Institutional Strengthening and
  3. Project management.

The project includes the development of Management Information Systems (MIS) and other programs to capture and analyze data for long-term planning and guiding of dam operations; support to the further development within CWC of the Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA) program that will allow a systematic presentation and interpretation of data for effective monitoring of the health of dams;

The 24 dams included in the project are:

  1. Avalanche Dam
  2. Bungihallah Earthern Dam
  3. Emerald Dam
  4. Eravangalar Dam
  5. Glenmorgan Dam
  6. Highways Dam
  7. Kadamparai Dam
  8. Kodayar II Dam
  9. Kodayar1 Dam
  10. Kundahpalam Dam
  11. Kuttiyar Dam
  12. Manalar Dam
  13. Mukurthy Dam
  14. Papanasam Diversion Weir
  15. Pegum Bahallah Dam
  16. Periyar Forebay Dam
  17. Pillur Dam
  18. Porthimund Dam
  19. Pykara Dam
  20. Servalar Dam
  21. Thma Iraparani Dam
  22. Upper Aliyar Dam
  23. Upper Bhavani Dam
  24. Vandal Dam

Solution offered

The monitoring solution required for the dams included sensors broadly classified as:

  1. Geotechnical instruments: Pore water pressure, Uplift pressure measurement, joint meter, Inclinometer, Tilt meter, Temperature sensor, Seepage monitoring device, Vibration sensor
  2. Geodetic instruments: Total Station, Bi-reflex survey targets, GSM/GPRS MODEM Permanent benchmarker and all its accessories
  3. Hydro-Meteorological Instruments: Automatic Weather station having sensors of Temperature, Humidity, Solar radiation, Wind velocity, Rainfall, & evaporation meter, Automatic water level recorder (Radar Type and Pressure Type), and Automatic Rain gauge and all its accessories
  4. Seismic Instruments: Strong Motion Accelerograph, Broadband Seismograph, and all its accessories
  5. Other Equipment: CCTV, Solar Power supply, Inverter Supply, Personal Computer, Laptop, Printer, and all its accessories)

Scope of works included

  • Supply, Installation, and integration of sensors and data loggers
  • Testing, commissioning, operation & maintenance
  • Training – classroom and on-site training with periodic visits
  • Real-time monitoring

Read more: Instrumentation & Structural Monitoring of Dams

The monitoring solution is capable of continuous monitoring of data from the new sensors installed in the Dam.

The dams were equipped with a few old geotechnical sensors which required automation. Thus, the new monitoring solution was flexible enough to incorporate the historic data of existing sensors, to be co-correlated with the new monitoring system. It also allowed manual data of non-automated sensors, as well as additional manual data from geodetic surveys to be fed into it, for further co-relation of data. This made all the relevant data available on a single platform to the stakeholders for easy evaluation and interpretation.

In 2021, it is quite a wonderful achievement that most of the major rehabilitation works are either completed or in full progress. Encardio Rite was responsible for restoring almost 58 dams under the DRIP project. We have successfully provided our services to the cause of the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).

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