VIJAYAWADA: With less than two months left for the State government to keep its promise of releasing water from Polavaram dam by virtue of gravity, the officials and the contracting agency are racing against time to complete the works of critical structure which would enable water diversion: the cofferdams. As per the latest status report, just about 34 per cent of works related to the cofferdams have been completed so far.
For the record, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has repeatedly promised that his government would supply water by mid-June. Accordingly, the works related to the two structures began in the second week of December last year and gained momentum subsequently. Now that the target date is just about 50 days away, a pertinent question that comes to fore is if the contracting agency and the official machinery would be able to pull off the feat.
The same question was raised by the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA), the executive agency for the implementation of the multi-purpose national project, recently. It asked the State officials as to how the latter would be able to complete the remaining part of the works in the short time.
However, the officials expressed confidence that they would be able to finish the works. “The upper cofferdam and the lower cofferdam are at 40 per cent and 26 per cent of progress. For cofferdams, laying the foundation is a tedious process. So, it took time. The superstructure can be quickly completed. We are making all possible efforts to complete the works by June 10,” V Sridhar, Chief Engineer of Polavaram Irrigation Project, told TNIE.
He added that only the completion of the cofferdam in the upper stream was critical for the diversion of water, and that it would be completed within the stipulated time. To take stock of the progress on the ground, a team of officials from the PPA is scheduled to visit the project site on Monday. It may be noted that the actual purpose of the upper cofferdam is to provide a working area to take up the main dam works by blocking the water during the flooding seasons.