Khammam: How safe will be the bunds of the river Godavari at Bhadrachalam after completion of the Polavaram project? The strength of the bunds on the river Godavari at Bhadrachalam is being studied by irrigation experts.
The River Godavari — the largest rain-fed river in the peninsular India — witnessed the highest floods in 1986 when the water level at Bhadracha-lam touched 75.6 feet.
About 32 lakhs cusecs of water flowed in the River Godavari to the Bay of Bengal at that time.
The question now is: Can the bunds withstand if water flows in the River Godavari is more than 36 lakh cusecs after the completion of the Polavaram project? Experts are studying this in the context of the water flows following the 1986 floods.
The present water level of the River Godavari at Bhadrachalam is three feet which is the lowest of the Godavari water levels.
The first warning used to be declared at the Godavari when water level touched 43 feet.
Interestingly, the water level will be 43 feet even in summer after completion of the Polavaram project.
The bunds from Charla to Bhadrachalam were built at a cost of `153 crore. It is proposed that a bund on the Pinapaka side is to be built. The construction cost is estimated at `80 crore, but works have not commenced.
The Andhra Pradesh government plans to use more Godavari water by increasing the height of the Polavaram project.
The spillway capacity of the Polavaram dam is 50,000,00 lakh cusecs at 140 feet storage level. The backwater of Polavaram will be seen 120 km downstream of the project.
Officials are studying the water levels of the river during the monsoon at Bhadrachalam which is 210 feet height above sea level.
It is expected that if water flow is 50 lakh cusecs some more villages will be subject to inundation. This put the safety of Bhadrachalam in question and the experts are studying it.
Clarity will emerge only after the Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Central governments sit together and come to a conclusion on the flow of water at Bhadrachalam after the completion of the Polava-ram project. It is concluded that the present bunds should be strengthened and their height must be increased.
In the history of Godavari floods, the 1976 floods are a nightmare. The water level in the river touched 63.9 feet and there was great devastation. Due to the lack of prior information to the people of the Godavari bank villages, many villages were inundated in the floods. Later, officials implemented a system during floods and shifted people of inundated villages before water rose....