Andhra Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy conducted an aerial survey of the Polavaram project construction site and took stock of the work in progress besides holding a review meeting on construction and rehabilitation works.
The Chief Minister walked on the spillway gallery and personally examined the ongoing works of the spillway. Irrigation Department officials and representatives of project contractor explained the progress of the works of the project. Later, in the review meeting at project site here on Monday, the Chief Minister asserted that water will be released from Polavaram for Kharif 2022 and there is no change in the height of the dam. The Chief Minister said the rehabilitation works will be taken up on priority basis.
Initially, the rehabilitation works with an estimated cost of Rs 3,330 crore will be started in flood prone areas when water storage is at 41.5 metre. Later, the storage capacity will be increased in a phased manner to 45.72 metre, he said and instructed the officials to be prepared accordingly. The officials said the rehabilitation works would be completed by February or March 2021.
The Chief Minister said the project works should be completed by December 2021 so that any minor pending works can be completed in two or three months and water can be released for Kharif 2022. He instructed the officials to expedite the works and complete the works of spillway and spill channel by end of May 2021 as Godavari will be flooded again from June and works will be delayed by a season if not completed.
“At the same time take steps to fill the gaps in the cofferdam so that the works of main dam will be done swiftly”, he said and added that the hydroelectric project works should also be continued. The Chief Minister said all these major components of Polavaram project should go ahead as planned. The Chief Minister condemned the false propaganda on the reduction of the height of the project and asserted that full reservoir level (FRL) of the project would be 45.72 metre and Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) member secretary Ranga Reddy asserted the same in the review meeting.
The Chief Minister said it is very crucial to complete land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (LA, R&R) works along with the construction of the dam. We could not store full capacity in Chitravati, Gandikota and Kandaleru projects due to negligence in LA, R&R works, he said. The capacity of Chitravati Dam is 10 TMC, the water was stored to full capacity only after YSRCP came to power and spent Rs 240 crore for R&R works, he said. 20 TMC of water is stored in Gandikota after YSRCP formed the government. According to the protocols of the Central Water Commission for ensuring dam stability and security, in first year only 33 percent of the water must be stored and in second year a 50 percent and in third year 100 percent of storage will be permitted, the Chief Minister said. The State Government will complete the R&R of the project to the height of 41.5 meter, where 120 TMC of water can be stored and full capacity of storage will be achieved at 45.72 meter in a phased manner, he said.
The Chief Minster instructed the officials to prepare an action plan on alternative measures to be taken to avoid shortage of drinking and irrigation water to delta during closure of coffer dam gaps. The Chief Minister asked the officials to take the suggestions of public representatives into consideration while preparing the action plan.
The Officials said a committee is being set up to solve the real time problems during the construction of the dam. Irrigation officials, PPA and CWC officials will be part of the committee. The Chief Minister said the bills related to 2018 were still pending and directed to submit the bills to be paid from regularly without delay. The Irrigation officials said PPA should focus on advance payment rather than reimbursement as Polavaram project is a national project. The Chief Minister said the state government will try to pay the bills time to time ensuring no arrears from the center.
Ministers Anil Kumar Yadav, Alla Krishna Srinivas, Perni Venkatramaiah, Taneti Vanitha, Pinipe Viswaroop, Chellaboina Venugopala Krishna, Water Resources Special Chief Secretary Adityanath Das, ENC Narayana Reddy and other officials were present in the meeting.