Jagan directs officials to finish repair of Polavaram diaphragm wall, damaged during TDP rule, at the earliest

He also took stock of implementation of the R & R package for those displaced and directed officials to provide all facilities and infrastructure.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jun 06, 2023 | 6:35 PM Updated Jun 06, 2023 | 6:36 PM

CM Jagan Mohan held a review meeting and site inspection of the Polavaram Project on 6 June. (Twitter)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday, 6 June, directed the Irrigation Department officials to complete the repairs of the damaged diaphragm wall of the Polavaram Project at the earliest, so that the main project works could be expedited.

At a review meeting held at the project site after inspecting the progress of works, the chief minister told them to develop the site as a tourist destination by constructing a hotel and providing other amenities for visitors.

Taking stock of the implementation of the Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) package for those displaced, he directed the officials to provide all civic facilities and basic infrastructure alongside the construction of colonies as it progresses.

The officials who attended the review meeting informed him that 12,658 displaced families had been shifted to the newly-constructed colonies.

Also read: Centre to provide ₹17,144 crore for Polavaram Project

A crack in the wall

Referring to news reports on the cracks in the guide wall, the chief minister expressed displeasure over a section of the media allegedly making a mountain out of a molehill.

“A section of the media was silent when damage was caused to the diaphragm wall on account of the faulty construction of the upper cofferdam. When the flash floods came, water gushed into the diaphragm wall through the gaps that were left out, causing severe damage,” he said.

“As the diaphragm wall is the base for the construction of the main dam, the damage caused an extra financial burden of ₹2,000 crore on the project, besides delaying it,” he added.

Also Read: Why do AP, Telangana often clash over the Polavaram Project?

The chief minister expressed displeasure over news outlets raising what he deemed was an unnecessary hue and cry over the small damage caused to the guide wall.

He said that the officials should take this seriously and proceed with the necessary steps as it is common to move ahead, undertaking repairs wherever necessary.

The officials explained that the designs of the guide wall had been approved by the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the commission had been informed of the small cracks in the wall. They said that repairs would be undertaken as per the suggestion of the CWC.

The officials also told him that they are expediting the works to complete the repairs of the diaphragm wall by December.

Officials apprised the chief minister that the works relating to the laying of spillway concrete, construction of upper and lower cofferdams, concrete work at gap 3, arrangement of 48 radial gates, river sluice gates, tunnel work at the powerhouse, transportation of sand to ECRF gap 2 area, and so on, had been completed, while the approach channel works were nearing completion.

Also read: Telangana urges PPA to ensure free flow condition at Polavaram

Other works in progress

Jagan Mohan at a site inspection of Polavaram Project. (Twitter)

Jagan Mohan at a site inspection of Polavaram Project. (Twitter)

The chief minister also inspected the Vibro Compaction and sand filling works at the damaged diaphragm wall, besides visiting the sites of upper and lower cofferdams.

Officials explained the increased height of the upper cofferdam and the details of the completed lower cofferdam.

He was informed of the progress of the ECRF works.

He also inspected a photo exhibition of the dam works while officials explained the details.

Funding the works

The officials informed Jagan that the Union Finance Ministry had consented to release ₹12,911.15 crore for the completion of the first phase of the Polavaram Project.

This, they said, included the ₹2,000 crore extra expenditure caused due to the faulty construction of the diaphragm wall during the TDP rule.

The Union Finance Ministry said this in a memorandum sent to the Union Water Resources Ministry, officials disclosed.

They added that the Centre has also given exemption from compound payment of bills as it is causing project delay.