HYDERABAD: The Central Water Commission (CWC) will be carrying out a study to find out if some areas of Bhadrachalam will be submerged if the water level is maintained at Full Reservoir Level (FRL) in the Polavaram dam in Andhra Pradesh after it is completed. The CWC will furnish a report on this study by February 28, 2021.
Telangana and AP will have to provide all the requisite data for conduct of the study and the cost of study will be borne by the AP government.
This decision was taken following discussions in the first joint meeting held on October 14 and participated by senior officials of CWC, Polavaram Project Authority, Central Pollution Control Board, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Odisha State governments. The meeting was held on the directions of the National Green Tribunal, with the view of resolving the inter-State issues. The issue of submergence in Bhadrachalam town was raised by the Telangana government.
It pointed out that if the water is maintained at FRL for some days in the Polavaram dam, it may cause stagnation of water in the streams joining Godavari and Kinnerasani rivers that flow adjacent to Bhadrachalam, and also of water in drainages, leading to submergence of some areas in the town for short periods. Other issues were also raised and discussed in the meeting, including the allegation by Telangana that the scope of Polavaram dam was revised after obtaining sanction from the CWC and Environmental Clearance from Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and that the backwater studies need to be conducted again for Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) of 50 lakh cusecs, in view of inundation of areas in Telangana. It also pointed out that it got a backwater study conducted by IIT Hyderabad.
The CWC rejected this allegation and said that the backwater studies conducted earlier were comprehensive. It, however, asked TS to submit the study conducted by IIT Hyderabad by November 15. The meeting also saw the AP government and PPA taking responsibility to address any adverse impacts arising solely due to the Polavaram dam in the future.
Another allegation that the irrigation potential due to Polavaram dam is to be increased to 15 lakh acres was also discussed. The CPCB rejected this allegation saying that ayacut of Purushothapatnam, Pattiseema and Chintalapudi schemes must not be seen in addition to the Polavaram ayacut.
Addressing adverse impacts of Polavaram
The CWC asked Telangana to submit the backwater study conducted by IIT Hyderabad by November 15. The meeting also saw the Andhra Pradesh government and PPA taking responsibility to address any adverse impacts arising solely due to the Polavaram dam in the future