VIJAYAWADA: With Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) formally launching the works of Polavaram project, the Water Resources department is planning to schedule a visit of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to the project site so as to officially mark the resumption of works under the new government. The department officials noted that the CM’s visit may be planned in the second half of November, when the flooding is expected to completely recede.
Over the last two-three months, most of the approach roads in the work site were either damaged or washed away in floodwater. After bagging both the irrigation and 960 MW hydel power plant works through reverse tendering, MEIL on November 1 formally launched the works and started repairing the approach roads.
“Reaching the spillway, where the works will begin, is also difficult due to the damaged roads. The contracting agency has begun laying the roads and it may take a week for the actual works to gain impetus. Once it is done, we are planning to schedule a visit of the Chief Minister to the project to officially launch the works,” a senior Water Resources department official noted.
If scheduled, it will be the second visit of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to Polavaram as the Chief Minister and first after his government’s reverse tendering initiative. Jagan first visited the project site on June 20, soon after taking over as the Chief Minister on May 30. “Water Resources Minister Anil Kumar Yadav and Special Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das are coordinating to finalise the schedule. It will most likely be in the latter half of this month,” the official added.
It may be noted that the legal and administrative hurdles for the national project were cleared after the High Court lifted the stay on entrustment of works to a new agency on October 31. Both the energy department and water resources department immediately issued work order on November 1 and signed two separate agreements for the project execution, the officials said.
While the government aims to complete the irrigation works — civil and land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement — by mid-2021, the 960 MW hydel power plant is expected to take about three to four years.