VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed the Irrigation Department officials to focus on completion of the R&R (Rehabilitation & Resettlement) works of Polavaram project. A Standard Operating Procedure should be evolved to make the non-operating lift irrigation schemes functional by involving farmers’ committees, he said.
During a review meeting of the Water Resources Department on Friday, the Chief Minister took stock of various irrigation project works and instructed the officials to expedite the balance works relating to the 3.4 km long second tunnel of Veligonda project and accord priority to construction of a barrage downstream Prakasam Barrage on Krishna River.
In response to the briefing by officials that necessary soil tests should be conducted on the affected area and on the strength of the diaphragm wall before taking up the works in ECRF (Earth cum Rock Fill) Dam at Polavaram project, which is still reeling under 2.5 lakh cusecs of flood water, the Chief Minister said the R&R works can be taken up in the meantime.
According to the officials, after the test results are out, designs of the ECRF dam need to be finalised and before that taking up any other work in that area is not possible. They informed the Chief Minister that tests are likely to commence by mid-November and results are expected by December. After the test results are out, the CWC has to finalise designs and methodology, which is likely to take more time. However, they said in the meantime, lower cofferdam works will be completed. After that, dewatering can be done in that area.
Briefing about Godavari floods, the officials said the floods were the largest after 1990. On July 18, the river received the highest of 25.9 2 lakh cusecs of flood, followed by 15.92 lakh cusecs on August 19, 15.04 lakh cusecs on August 14 and 13.78 lakh cusecs on September 16. In 1990, the total duration of Godavari floods was 355 days and 7,092 TMC of water went waste into the sea.
In 1994, Godavari floods occurred for 188 days resulting in 5,092 TMC of water going waste into the sea. In 2013, flood was there for 213 days and a total of 5,921 TMC of water went waste. In 2022, flood was there for 136 days and a total of 6,010 TMC of water flowed into the sea.
He was also briefed about the flood situation in Krishna, Vamsadhara, Nagavali and Penna rivers. In Krishna, 1,164.10 TMC of water went waste into the sea, while it was 119.2 TMC in case of Vamsadhara, 34.8 TMC of Nagavalli and 92.41 TMC of Penna.
The officials informed him that preparations are underway to lay the foundation stone for the lift irrigation scheme to pump water from Gotta Barrage into Hiramandalam Reservoir in December, while Tarakarama Teertha Sagar works in Vizianagaram will begin in November.
They said revised estimates worth Rs 852 crore were prepared for the Mahendra Tanaya works. When informed that almost all reservoirs are full up to 90% even after several TMC of water was released into the sea in the wake of incessant rains, Jagan told them to lay emphasis on maintenance and running of all reservoirs and other irrigation projects.
Minister for Water Resources Ambati Rambabu, Principal Secretary (Water Resources) Shashi Bhushan Kumar and Engineer-in-Chief C Narayana Reddy were present.