₹12,157 crore and 4 years for completion: That’s what Polavaram project would take, says CM Naidu

He accused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government of diverting central grants amounting to ₹3,385 crore in the last five years.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jun 29, 2024 | 11:00 AM Updated Jun 30, 2024 | 9:33 AM

Chandrababu Naidu explaining the Polavaram project. (Supplied)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday, 28 June, said that the fallout of the damage that had been done to the Polavaram Project by the previous YSRCP government would haunt the state like a curse for decades and that its completion would take several years.

The chief minister was speaking to reporters at the state Secretariat at Velagapudi in Amaravati after releasing a white paper on the Polavaram Project.

“The damage done to the project is beyond imagination. The consequences of the damage would haunt the state, for maybe 10 or 20 or 30 years. Only time could tell when it would end,” he said.

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Accuses Jagan Mohan Reddy of diverting funds

He accused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government of diverting central grants amounting to ₹3,385 crore in the last five years.


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An approximate estimate of monetary loss will be about ₹4,900 crore and there is a cost escalation of 38 percent for the reconstruction of the damaged portions and for taking up the remaining works of the Polavaram project, Naidu said.

The chief minister said that the entire construction of the main dam is programmed to be completed in four years including left and right connectivities, the remaining works of the right main canal, left main canal and all other remaining components.

Naidu said that the remaining rehabilitation and resettlement works and shifting the families displaced due to the project will be done in phases.

He said the government intends to impound water up to the full reservoir level of 45.72m and thereby realise contemplated benefits fully under the Multipurpose National Project.

A sum of ₹12,157 crore will be needed to complete the balance works of Phase I of the project.

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‘Drowned the project’

Polavaram project progress

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Naidu said former chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy drowned the project in the Godavari river.

“Where is the project now? The state suffered more damage under Jagan Mohan Reddy than when it was divided in 2014,” the chief minister said.

Naidu said that beginning Friday, the state government would elicit opinions from all sections of people on what should be done to take the project forward.

“Tears came to my eyes when I see the plight in which the project lay,” he said and added that the white paper on Polavaram was one of the seven such white papers on other sectors he would be releasing in the coming days.

“The white papers would be made available on websites for people to access them,” he said.

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‘Crime against humanity’

He said the destruction of Polavaram is a crime against humanity and pointed out that if the Amaravati and Polavaram had been completed, the state would have been out of the difficulties.


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“But both of them are in a deplorable state now and I do not know how long it would take me to get them back on rails. There are several aspects of the project which I have to study to know the damage done to them and come up with a plan to get the project going. I cannot rush the work as I have to take calibrated steps. It is a major project on a major river and any slip-up might wash out both East and West Godavari districts,” he said.

He stressed that the two projects — Polavaram and Godavari — were essential for attaining economic prosperity for the state.

“If Polavaram had been commissioned, there would have been an irrigation facility for unserved lands. This would have improved agricultural production which, in turn, would have spurred the GSDP of the state and increased the spending power of the farmers. It means that there would be an increase in the collection of GST,” he said.

Elaborating on the way forward, the chief minister said that the revised cost estimate II (RCE-II) for phase I at 41.15 metres of minimum draw-down level (MDDL) has been put at ₹30,436.95 crore by the revised cost committee.

MDDL is the lowest level at which a reservoir’s water level can be drawn down to meet various needs.

Related: Jagan pushes Polavaram project completion date to 2025; blames TDP

Estimated completion of Polavaram project

Polavaram Price Levels

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According to him, after deducting the expenditure spent, the balance amount required for completing the project with the capacity to impound water up to 41.15 m arrived at ₹12,157 crore which has to be approved by the Union government.


He further listed the developments regarding the project.

  • Investigation of seepage assessment from coffer dams to find vulnerable points is undertaken as suggested by expert design consultant FRY India Private Limited in Noida — headquartered in Sweden — and timelines are fixed for each activity.
  • The services of international experts — two each from Canada and the US — are engaged by the Polavaram Project Authority on the advice of the Central Water Commission(CWC) to scrutinise the proposals received from the Water Resources Department of the state government.
  • Rehabilitation and Resettlement work, and shifting of Project Displaced Families (PDF) — up to +41.15 m of water level — is estimated to be completed by March 2026.
  • All the components of the project necessary for impounding water up to the level of 41.15m (MDDL) and storing 115.43 tmcft of water is estimated to take time till June 2028 to divert water by gravity through the right main canal and left main canal.

The chief minister said that between 2014-19 his government had spent ₹11,762 crore on the Polavaram project but YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s dispensation spent only ₹4,167 crore between 2019-2024.

“As soon as Jagan Mohan Reddy was sworn in, the Polavaram works came to a grinding halt. He removed the contractor thoughtlessly and transferred out all officials. An IIT team which inspected the project had said that the diaphragm wall had suffered damage but Jagan was not aware of it for two years,” Naidu claimed.

He said the Polavaram Project Authority had cautioned the Jagan Mohan Reddy government not to change the contractor midway, however, he changed the contractor when the gaps between the coffer dams were being closed.

“We built the diaphragm wall in 2018 at a cost of ₹436 crore. The YSRCP government spent ₹447 core for repairs. The construction of a new diaphragm wall parallel to the present one would cost ₹990 crore. For its construction, it may need two seasons,” he said.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)

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