Move for reducing Polavaram dam height opposed
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Vijayawada: The Polavaram Sadhikara Samiti (PSS) has urged the central and state governments "not to reduce the height of Polavaram Multipurpose Project" from 45.72 metres ((150 feet) to 41.15 metres (135 feet). It also urged the government to complete the construction works in three years.
At a round-table conference on the project issues held here on Wednesday, the PSS appealed to the Centre to release Rs 38,500 crore in funds for Resettlement & Rehabilitation.
Former minister Vadde Shobhanadreeswara said the cost estimations were steadily going up and hence the need to expedite the works. "If the project is not completed by 2030, AP would face a huge water scarcity. There will be no harvest in the East or West Godavari districts. The central government should speed up the project," he said.
Farmers' associations, water user associations and former irrigation chief engineers said that the project, once completed, would benefit around 7.2 lakh acres of new Ayacut. Kurnool, Prakasam and Nellore districts would get plenty of water. Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts would also get water from the Uttarndhra Srujala Sravanthi lift irrigation scheme, they noted.
"As per the GWDT (Godavari water disputes tribunal) award’s final order, the height of the dam shall rise to the full reservoir level (FRL) of 150ft. This cannot be changed by any authority to save a few crores of rupees (R&R packages & land acquisition). This is the only terminal reservoir that can facilitate the interlinking of rivers. The live storage of 75tmc above MDDL (minimum drawdown level) will hurt the flows into the right and left canals'' they said.
The meeting stressed that both central and state governments should jointly strive to complete the project. Delhi should release Rs 38,500 crore as per the price costs calculated every year and Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore each year for R&R package of the project, it pleaded.