POLAVARAM (WEST GODAVARI): Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu dedicated Diaphragm Wall (cut off wall) of the Polavaram project to the nation on Monday in the presence of farmer representatives and officials from 13 districts of the State.
Considered an important part of the Polavaram project, which the Chief Minister said is last one of its kind in the country, the 1,550 metre long and 95 metre deep diaphragm wall was constructed in a record time of two seasons (started in February 2017 and completed by June 2018) by L&T and Bauer.
Naidu said an important milestone in the construction of Polavaram project has been achieved.“The cut off wall is an important component of the project and the contractors have done a wonderful job. There is no compromise on the quality of the project, which is the lifeline of the State,” Naidu said.The Chief Minister reiterated that he is determined to complete the project by 2019-end at any cost. Once it is completed, it will help in making the State drought-proof.
He said even the works of spillway are progressing at a fast pace. The Chief Minister said Navayuga, which is executing the works, has created a record by completing 11,558 cubic metre of concrete work in 24 hours. “Even for Kaleshwaram project in Telangana, the concrete work record stood at 7,250 cubic metre in a single day,” he pointed out.
Explaining the importance of Polavaram and the efforts put into it from the day one since his government was formed in 2014, Naidu said even before he was sworn in as the Chief Minister, he ensured that seven displaced mandals under the projects are merged with Andhra Pradesh so that there will not be any obstacles in the path.
“Even then, there are people like Opposition YSRC leaders who are hell-bent on creating obstacles. Instead of cooperating with the government on the project, which is of paramount importance to the State, they were trying to gain political mileage by instigating farmers and approaching courts,” he said and added that even Odisha government had approached the court against Polavaram.
He said nevertheless, his government is committed to completing the work as promised by 2019 and create 7.2 lakh acres of new ayacut and stabilise 40 lakh acres of land. “By gravity, water will reach Krishna and Visakhapatnam,” he said and recalled how the Pattiseema project has linked Godavari with Krishna river.
Explaining the cost of the project, Naidu said the total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 57,000 crore, of which Rs 5,000 crore is for the power project, Rs 27,000 crore to Rs 28,000 crore will be needed for land acquisition and R&R package. “Out of the needed 1,68,213 acres of land, 1,10,355 acres have been acquired. A sum of Rs 21,027 crore is required to rehabilitate nearly 1 lakh families, most of them tribals,” Naidu said.
He said his government had spent Rs 14,000 crore on the project so far, of which Rs 8,613 crore was spent after the project was declared a national project. The Central government has reimbursed Rs 6,727 crore only. He stressed the need for people to visit the Polavaram project and understand the facts. “It is important, so people will not be carried away by the statements of those criticising from their office rooms,” he said.
Reiterating his goal of interlining five rivers, including Godavari and Penna, he said they plan to construct another barrage on Krishna river at Vykuntapuram, which will help store 10 tmc and also provide water to Nagarjuna Sagar Right Main Canal. He assured that several of the ongoing 54 projects would be completed on time.
Lokesh targets critics
Hitting back at the critics, who expressed doubts over the progress of Polavaram project, IT Minister Nara Lokesh tweeted that compared to the progress of 16 national projects, Polavaram project was progressing ahead without interruption. He said he was shocked to see only five of the 16 national irrigation projects have been grounded and Polavaram is the only project on track. The Nara scion attributed the credit to the hard work of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. He said 11 of those 16 projects were still under feasibility, appraisal stages. He said he can’t understand why opposition parties spread lies to discredit the great work done by the Chief Minister.