AP, TS plan joint visit to Godavari floods-hit areas in Telangana
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
VIJAYAWADA: The governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana would jointly undertake a fact-finding visit to six streams located near Bhadrachalam, towards Dummugudem, to gauge the impact of Godavari floods. AP, however, did not agree for a fresh joint survey as such surveys had been conducted vis-vis adjoining riparian states.
Senior engineers from the water resources departments of AP and TS would study the possibility of submergence of low-lying areas in parts of Badrachalam and also in areas close to the six streams. Such a fear was expressed by the Telangana government, necessitating the visit by the joint team of experts.
It is noted that floodwater from these streams could not empty into the Godavari when the river was in flood. Such a scenario could persist for days.
AP authorities maintain that the submergence of low-lying areas along the course of Kinnersani and Murredu rivers, especially when the Godavari is flooded, is a temporary phenomenon. Once the water level recedes in the Godavari, the stagnant rainwater would flow into it.
The Supreme Court recently issued a direction to the Union Jal Shakti ministry to engage the riparian states including AP, Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh on the issue of submergence of low-lying areas during the Godavari floods.
The AP water resources department is maintaining that three surveys involving professional agencies had been conducted on the issue of submergence of areas under the impact of Godavari river floods — with a discharge of 36 lakh cusecs of water from Sir Arthur Cotton barrage in 1986. The subsequent floods registered discharges of only 28 lakhs in the barrage in 2006 and nearly 22 lakhs in 2022.
Hence, they say there is no major issue of submergence along the course of the river even in vulnerable areas in AP, TS, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. They also note that the Polavaram dam is coming up at a maximum height of 45.72 metres with backwaters impact at a discharge of 36 lakh cusecs.
"We are ready to initiate all requisite steps, like providing protection walls in areas vulnerable for submergence, as also relief and resettlement as per norms of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. However, Odisha and Chhattisgarh are not coming up with any concrete proposals by conducting a public hearing on the impact of floods, except raising apprehensions in a casual manner," the AP officials say.
Polavaram chief engineer Sudhakar Babu said, "We are ready for a joint visit to parts of Badrachalam and six streams in Telangana to study the matter and shall provide relief and resettlement as per norms. We are not ready for a fresh joint survey as such an exercise has already been done earlier."