HYDERABAD: Sounding a grim warning, a five-member engineers’ committee constituted by the Telangana government has said that once Polavaram Project becomes operational in Andhra Pradesh, the first flood warning will be in force permanently at Bhadrachalam which makes it all the more important for the State government to take permanent as well as temporary measures to save the lives of the people in 100 villages close to the temple town.
The five-member committee submitted its preliminary report on Tuesday. The committee suggested the construction of a flood bank on the right side and the completion of the flood bank left over for 5 km, on the left side. However, for the completion of the 5-km flood bank, Telangana needs the permission of AP, as the leftover area is in its terrain.
The State government on September 12 issued a GO constituting the expert committee for conducting detailed surveys all along the catchment of the Godavari river to study the construction of structures across the local streams, inlets wherever required and other major structures on flanks of Godavari.
The Committee was constituted to study the hydrology and backwater analysis from Sanjeevareddy Palem of Burgampadu to Ammangaripalli of Aswapuram to a length of 38.5 km on the right flank and from Yetapaka of AP to Dummugudem for a length of 21 km on left flank of Godavari. B Nagendra Rao, engineer-in-chief (O&M) is the chairman of the committee.
“We have analysed the reasons for the recent inundation in Bhadrachalam. We are studying whether the existing infrastructure is sufficient or not to save the lives of the people,” Nagendra Rao told Express on Tuesday.
He said that Bhadrachalam is likely flooded again this season. Once the flood completely recedes, the committee would carry out further studies. He said that once Polavaram was completed, the water level would be around 45 to 46 feet at Bhadrachalam, over and above the first warning level of 43 feet.
The committee would also study the fate of around 100 villages around Bhadrachalam, when floods occur after the construction of Polavaram. The committee would study the drainage system too. The committee observed that from Eturnagaram to Bhadrachalam around 50 streams including Kodipuju vagu, Thummala vagu, Jampanna vagu, Modikunta vagu, Palem vagu and Jeedi vagu would join the Godavari.
When the flood level was at 46 feet, then any additional inflows would have a serious impact at Bhadrachalam, the officials said.
BACKWATER TO AFFECT TEMPLE TOWN
Backwater impacting Bhadrachalam town will become a common phenomenon once Polavaram is completed and water is stored at FRL of 150 feet, as successive floods within a water year are a common feature in the lower Godavari basin. The State government repeatedly urged the Centre to have a comprehensive backwater study by an independent competent agency at the earliest. The high flood level (HFL) at Polavaram project site during 1986 floods was 94.86 feet, with 36 lakh cusecs of flows. CWC estimated that after the construction of Polavaram, the HFL will be 135 feet.