Thursday, April 18, 2024

TS calls for study of Polavaram project backwater effect

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Telangana government wrote a letter to Polavaram Project authority to study the effect of backwaters of polavaram project this year also.

As per the letter by Engineering in Chief (ENC) C Muralidhar, “PPA/CC is once again requested to ensure immediate action by taking into cognizance of the Supreme Court orders on September 6, 2022 and thereby undertake the requisite protection measures to avoid submergence in Telangana territory as per GWDTA” To study this, Telangana will ensure that all the 48 gates including the river sluices remain open all through the water year.

Telangana is at a juncture wherein the monsoon is in full swing and the river Godavari is in spate. As on date (21.07.2023 @ 6.00 AM), the levels at different component of the project and discharge at Polavaram is 7,38,262 cusecs.

Tthe ENC said that the effects are being felt at Bhadrachalam and elsewhere in the Telangana territory due to non-free flow conditions as compared to the pre-project conditions.

Telangana State through protracted correspondence since 2016 has been requesting Authority to addressing its concerns due to backwater effects of Polavaram. This being so, the States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh, including the State of Telangana approached the Supreme Court, which by its order dated 06.09.2022 directed MoJS “to take initiatives and the concerns are addressed”.

In this context, MoJS/CWC has convened a Secretary level meeting followed by 3 Technical meetings besides also 2 Coordination meetings (exclusively between TS & A.P.), wherein it was consented to ascertain the extent of submergence in TS territory due to standing water at FRL of Polavaram, in the first instance.

The Chairman, CWC also consented for verification of the levels in the area of the stretch from the State border extending upto Dummagudem anicut upstream covering the local streams for the submergence and backwater impact (drainage congestion and stagnation) and important structures like Sarpaka ITC, Manuguru HWP & Bhadrachalam town including the Historical Temple through a joint survey under the aegis of PPA. Telangana State also sought for undertaking fresh study duly capturing latest River cross-sections, correct assessment of PMF and its corresponding Backwater affects.

The ENC said, “Apropos to rigorous persuasion by the State, is is a fact that the above remain unaddressed in spite of the timelines fixed by Hon’ble Supreme Court. The State based on the severe impact of the 2022-23 monsoon floods, submerging 28,000 acres at Hon’ble Bhadrachalam and surrounding villages primarily due to the completion of the spillway and the upstream Coffer Dam has urged PPA for immediate ground-truthing thorough a Joint survey before the onset of monsoon season”

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