Complete LARR on priority basis to avoid submergence: PPA to Andhra Pradesh

The PPA also asked the department to plan the civil works as per the progress of LARR, inferring that the project works should be postponed, if need be, to avoid submergence.

Published: 31st December 2020 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st December 2020 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Polavaram Irrigation Project

Polavaram Irrigation Project (File Photo | Ravindra Babu, EPS)

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Pointing out that any delay in completion of rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) of the project displaced families (PDFs) of Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP) will cause a havoc of submergence, the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) has asked the State Water Resources Department to prioritise land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (LARR) as a huge task of rehabilitating about 17,000 families has to be completed within a short span of time. 

The PPA also asked the department to plan the civil works as per the progress of LARR, inferring that the project works should be postponed, if need be, to avoid submergence.PPA Chief Executive Officer J Chandrashekhar Iyer held a meeting in Vijayawada on Wednesday to take stock of the progress of the LARR components for +41.15 metres contour. After deliberating on the pending R&R works, it is learnt that the CEO has asked the Water Resources Department to ensure speedy progress of the works. 

Even though civil works are progressing as per the schedule, barring a few breaks due to floods and other unforeseen issues, the R&R works have not taken off as desired. In fact, the PPA called for a meeting on Wednesday as the revenue (LARR) officials had not submitted the plan of action as sought by the CEO during his visit to the Polavaram project site last week. 

“The PPA CEO said completion of civil works with pending R&R would create a havoc of submergence. The Water Resources Department has been asked to monitor it to avoid delays. We will deploy more officials to complete the works,” said a senior official from the department. 

It has targeted to resume cofferdam construction by April and complete it by June/July before the season of floods so as to complete earth-cum-rock fill (ECRF) dam works, which resumed recently. The government has targeted to complete all the civil works by December, 2021.

The PPA pointed out that if cofferdam construction was completed before the R&R of PDFs, it would result in submergence of all the villages during floods. To avoid this, the PPA is said to have told the State officials to plan civil works only according to the status of R&R works. 

“We may have to postpone, if necessary, our civil works if the R&R is not concluded before April. To avoid delay in civil works, we will deploy more officials from our department to monitor and expedite the R&R,” he added. 

Though the government had targeted to complete the R&R related to about 17,000 families (for +41.15 m contour) multiple times in the last one year, it has not been able to do it. The latest target is to finish the R&R colonies and move the PDFs by April, 2021. Even though the State appointed special officers and a team from the Revenue Department has been working on LARR, the progress has not been as per the schedule, the officials added. 

The PPA is also said to have informed the State that it would clear the pending bills at the earliest to ensure necessary flow of funds for the completion of the project works. Special Chief Secretary (Water Resources) Aditya Nath Das, Special Commissioner (R&R) Babu Rao Naidu and other officials attended the meeting.


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