1.7 km diaphragm wall damaged on Polavaram project: Minister for Water Resources Ambati Rambabu
Central team inspects Polavaram project, holds discussions with all stakeholders on construction of ECRF dam
VIJAYAWADA: A Central team led by Sriram Vedire, Advisor to Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, held discussions with all stakeholders of the Polavaram Irrigation Project on the construction of earth-cum-rock fill (ECRF) dam and other related issues at Rajamahendravaram on Sunday.
Key issues of Polavaram project, including project designs, required funding for completing the project, the progress of works pertaining to the spillway, spill channel and spillway guide bund, were discussed during the two-day visit of the team to Polavaram. On Saturday, it visited the Polavaram project site and inspected the ongoing works with focus on ECRF dam, the area eroded by Godavari floods and the damaged diaphragm wall.
Minister for Water Resources Ambati Rambabu, Principal Secretary (Water Resources) Shashi Bhushan Kumar, Engineer-in-Chief C Narayana Reddy and other officials took part in the discussions. The Central team members included Polavaram Project Authority CEO J Chandrasekhar Iyer and other key officials.
Speaking to mediapersons, Ambati reiterated that construction of the diaphragm wall before the cofferdam was a historic blunder committed by the previous TDP regime. “There is no doubt that the diaphragm wall got damaged due to floods and the gaps left in the cofferdam construction,” he asserted.
The Central team studied at what extent the diaphragm wall was damaged and various related technical aspects during its visit to the project site. He maintained that such a problem occurred for the first time in the execution of a major irrigation project.
Describing irrigation projects as engineering marvels, Ambati asserted that the YSRC government is committed to completing the project at the earliest. “If not for the blunder and mismanagement of the project by the previous TDP regime, it could have been completed earlier,” he averred.
Quoting the Central team, he said the diaphragm wall was damaged to an extent of 1.7 km, which resulted in deep pits. “The team will study the problem of diaphragm wall in-depth and later a decision will be taken on whether to go for repairs or construct another diaphragm wall parallel to the existing one,” he said.
The previous government had spent `400 crore on constructing the diaphragm wall. Now, the situation is such that the exact cost of rectifying the problem cannot be estimated accurately, he added. He made it clear that he was not slinging mud at the previous TDP regime, but only making facts pertaining to the project known to the people.