HYDERABAD: All three riparian States - Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh - have once again requested the Central government to carry out a fresh backwater study of the Polavaram project being constructed by Andhra Pradesh, with a probable maximum flood (PMF) of 58 lakh cusecs.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) held a technical committee meeting recently with the officials of AP, Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Central Water Commission (CWC) chairman RK Gupta chaired the meeting.
During the meeting, the officials agreed to cooperate in taking all the protective measures duly undertaking the joint survey, sources said. Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) chairman Chandrasekhar Iyer, Telangana engineers-in-chief C Muralidhar and B Nagendra Rao and OSD (Irrigation) to Chief Minister Sridhar Rao Deshpande and others were present.
CWC chairmen while initiating the proceedings have outlined that the major concerns of the States thus far have been on spillway design flood, backwater effect for standard project flood (SPF) and probable maximum flood (PMF) and the protection measures to be provided for the affected areas as per GWDT Award. The chairman has outright rejected the backwater effect due to PMF.
Chhattisgarh has called for finalising the PMF value for the design as well as the backwater effect as various studies reported PMF up to 58 lakh cusecs. Odisha has also stressed the need for considering 58 lakh cusecs PMF for both the spillway design and the backwater effects.
Odisha emphasised on limitations in the backwater study of CWC/AP, operation protocol, hydrology, and statutory clearances for its convenience hypothesis. Until these things are settled and finalised, the acceptance for a public hearing and joint survey is not acceptable to the State of Odisha.
Telangana stressed the need for a fresh backwater study to be undertaken in view of the anomaly between the CWC projected backwater effect based on mathematical modelling values to the actual observed flood events. TS duly highlighting the impact of the recent July 2022 flood affecting 28,000 inhabitants, and 11,000 families covering 103 villages, has demanded a correct assessment of the backwater study.
TS also highlighted the standing water effect when water is impounded and maintained at FRL. The drainage congestion and submergence also affect seven mandals (50000 acres). The State has clearly showcased these effects on the ground based on observed values of this July 2022 flood in comparison to various CWC reports.
It made a clear case of afflux formation upstream of Polavaram due to the BW effect which has also been acknowledged by CWC. They have agreed to a joint survey covering all the major streams on either side of the Godavari river.