CM rules out reduction of Polavaram dam height

Deccan Chronicle.  | dc correspondent

Nation, Current Affairs

Water to be released from Polavaram project for 2022 Kharif

Polavaram project spillway works go at a brisk pace at Polavaram in West Godavari. (DC Image: Narayana Rao)

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy ruled out any chance of reducing Polavaram dam height from its approved height of 45.72 meters and assured to release water for cultivation of crops from both right and left main canals for the kharif season in 2022.

Replying to a discussion on Polavaram irrigation project in the Assembly here on Wednesday, he stated that they require additional funds to the tune of Rs. 37,883 crore, including Rs. 26,585 crore for land acquisition and for implementation of resettlement and rehabilitation; Rs. 7,174 crore for all civil works and Rs. 4,124 crore for the power project and added that if the cost of the whole project is estimated at Rs. 55,548 crore, so far Rs. 17,666 crore has been spent on its execution and Rs, 37,885 crore was required to complete the whole project by end of next year.

The Chief Minister explained in detail the cost to be incurred for land acquisition and also for implementation of R and R by saying that if the water was impounded at a level of 41.15 meters by storing 120 tmc ft of water in the reservoir having total storage capacity of 194 tmc ft, it would cost Rs. 3,383 crore. So is the case, if the water impounded at 44 meters level with storage of 158.39 tmc ft, it would cost Rs. 2,000 crore. If the impounding of water was further enhanced at 45 meters with storage of 180 tmc ft, it would cost an additional Rs. 4,500 crore and finally if the impounding of water was allowed at a level of 45.72 meters, it would cost Rs 13,699 crore.

Reiterating his commitment to complete the project as per schedule, he said that as per Central Water Commission protocols and guidelines on dam security and stability, it would be possible to store only 33% of total storage capacity in the first year and 50% in second year and by the third year, water could be filled up to the total storage capacity and added that these precautionary measures were mandatory for ensuring safety of the dam to test any leakages and cautioned opposition parties not to raise a hue and cry if the water was not getting filled to the full storage capacity and also any issues in supply of water for cultivation.

When all the ruling party MLAs demanded installation of the statue of Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy to commemorate his commitment to expedite the execution of the project, the Chief Minister agreed to install a 100-ft tall statue at the project site.

Earlier, the Treasury benches sought installation of 150-feet statue of YSR at Polavaram project. They recalled that YSR completed the main canals, land acquisition and project works, which paved the way for further execution of the project.

According to party sources, as there were 151 legislators, it would be a symbolic gesture to install a 150-feet tall statue of YSR. Interestingly, Jagan Mohan Reddy announced the installation of a 100-feet statue at Polavaram while concluding the discussion on Polavaram project.

Polavaram MLA T Balaraju recalled the efforts of Rajasekhar Reddy to start Polavaram project which was pending for decades. He said that N Chandrababu Naidu worked as Chief Minister for nine years but never tried to construct Polavaram. He lamented that Naidu even after becoming the Chief Minister of residuary AP State did not work for the project.

He said that due to construction of cofferdam, nearly 20,000 houses were marooned and Naidu did not pay compensation to the inundated houses while his successor had paid the compensations to the inundated houses twice.

Minister for irrigation Anil Kumar Yadav explaining the efforts of Jagan Mohan Reddy to complete the dream of YSR to bring life to Polavaram, also sought a 150-feet YSR statue.

Jagan Mohan Reddy credited Rajashekar Reddy for getting all major clearances for execution of the project and said that before 2014, overall works of the project were completed by 9.29% and in the previous TD regime 20% were completed.  He said that by May, 2019, only 29.80% of works were completed and assured to complete all the remaining works as the son of YSR.

He exposed the folly of Naidu for accepting Centre’s direction to fund the project by saying that it would provide 100% of the remaining cost of the irrigation component of the project for the period starting from April 1, 2014 to the extent of the cost of irrigation component on that date. He said that rates during the execution of the project could never be fixed and as per National Project guidelines, rates are to be revised for every three years for consideration of payment to be made by the Centre.

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