VIJAYAWADA: The two long-pending check dams proposed downstream of Prakasam Barrage to tap into surplus waters during floods are set to materialise as the State government is expected to give administrative sanction to execute them in this month. The two check dams -- one at Chodavaram, and the other after Srikakulam (Krishna district) -- will together have a capacity to store 7.5 TMC of water.
Even though irrigation experts and farmers have been stressing on the need for having check dams downstream of the barrage to ensure water for the tail-end villages of the district, the proposal remained in a limbo. However, with no water flow from Nagarjuna Sagar in the last four years, it has become indispensable to channel the surplus water. In this context, the Water Resources department has expedited the process of making the check dams a reality.
“We are expecting the administrative approval for the check dam at Chodavaram, with a storage capacity of 2.7 TMC, in a week or two. We will immediately begin the tender process after that. The detailed project report (DPR) for the second check dam, around 60 KM downstream of the barrage, is being prepared. Once that is done, we will seek the government’s approval, and go for tenders,” the Chief Engineer of Krishna Delta System (KDS), R Satish Kumar, told TNIE.
While the check dam at Chodavaram, which is around 16km below from the barrage, is expected to cost Rs 898 crore, the estimated cost of the one after Srikakulam is around Rs1,200 crore. Both the estimated costs are inclusive of the land acquisition and other administrative components.
The Water ResourcesDepartment officials said the check dams would also help in maintaining ecological balance. “A minimum of 6 TMC water is required to be released every year for maintaining the balance. Since there were no substantial releases in the past years, salt water has started creeping inland. The salinity in aquifers is increasing due to which the groundwater is turning salty. So, if the check dams are built, it will help maintain the water prism,” a senior official from the department explained.