Minister for Water Resources Management Ambati Rambabu has said that the experts have found damage to the diaphragm wall of the Polavaram project at three places and the works of the project would be expedited.
The Minister on Sunday visited the Polavaram project and inspected the works. He reviewed the works with the officials.
Later talking to the media, he said the engineers who studied the damage to the diaphragm wall found the wall damaged to an extent of 486 m at three places.
The Central teams studied the damage to the diaphragm wall and finally they identified that the diaphragm wall was damaged to an extent of 486 m at three places and the engineers allayed doubts about the diaphragm wall with their report. The minister said that a team comprising 37 experts from various departments thoroughly studied the diaphragm wall for a few months and ascertained the exact damage. “The National Hydropower Corporation experts have submitted a report permitting to carry out repairs to the diaphragm wall only at the damaged places. The works will begin soon maintaining quality,” he said, hoping that the project works will be completed at the earliest.
Rambabu reiterated that the diaphragm wall was constructed during the erstwhile TDP regime without completing the construction of the upper and lower diaphragm walls which led to the damage of the diaphragm wall.
Due to heavy floods, skewers and pits were developed to the diaphragm wall to an extent of 22 m.
Without carrying out repairs to the damaged diaphragm wall, completing the Polavaram project is difficult, he made it clear. An amount of Rs 2,000 crore is required to carry out all the works, he added.
The experts are studying to estimate how much money is required to carry out repairs, the minister stated. The major damage took place to the diaphragm wall due to human error, he alleged. He said the TDP regime had spent Rs 400 crore to construct the diaphragm wall. After completing the construction of the cofferdam, the diaphragm wall should be constructed but vice versa had taken place, he said and attributed the damage to the ineptness of the erstwhile TDP regime.
Minister Rambabu assured of paying compensation to the evacuees who came within the limits of 41.15 contour. The Centre is to extend funds for the Polavaram project, he added. The state government has spent Rs 3,000 crore for the construction of the project and the Centre has to reimburse the same, he said, adding the Centre has agreed to release Rs 1800 crore of which Rs 366 crore has already been released.
Earlier, a 38-member delegation of the Polavaram Dam Design Review Panel (DDRP) led by panel chairman AB Pandya visited the project on Sunday. They inspected the works at the project. Later Pandya held a review meeting with the officials.