HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has set a three-year deadline for the completion of the Polavaram project, with the State obtaining all clearances from the Centre.
Speaking to legislators from the coastal district who met him today, a day after final clearance for the project was obtained, the chief minister said the fact that the go-ahead could be secured for a project so difficult to implement clearly showed the State Government’s degree of commitment.
He said the project, which required an investment of Rs 10,151 crore for completion, would irrigate a record 7.2 lakh acres by impounding 273 tmcft of water. It would also ensure drinking water to 540 villages benefiting 28.5 lakh persons and provide 23.5 tmcft water to industry. Under the project, hydel power generation would be of the order of 960 mw.
Site clearance was obtained from the Centre on 19 September 2005, environmental clearance on 25 October 2005, R & R clearance on 17 April 2007, wildlife sanctuary clearance on 19 Sept 2008, forest clearance on 26 Dec 26 2008 and technical advisory committee clearance on 20 January 2009.
It was as far back as 1941 that Diwan Bahadur L Venkata Krishna Iyer, the then chief engineer in the irrigation department, first proposed a storage reservoir across the Godavari near Polavaram.
However, the submergence area of the project was thoroughly investigated by the Department of Archaeology and a detailed report submitted only in 1987 for rehabilitation and reconstruction of archaeological monuments and temples. Then, in 2005, an expert form the Archaeological Survey of India and a member of the expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests visited the project site between September 4 and 6, and issued a no-objection certificate on September 9, a press release from the chief minister’s office said.