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Amaravati: The project status report which was submitted by the AP Water Resources Department to the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) on January 11 has given an impression to the PPA that it will be difficult to complete the Polavaram Project by 2019.  

According to reliable sources, the Water Resources Department mentioned in the report that the construction of Earth-cum-rock filled (ECRF) dam would begin on June 5, 2018 and it would be finished by May 31, 2019. As per the work programme mentioned in the report, construction of upstream cofferdam would be finished by June 30 this year, diaphragm wall for ECRF dam by August 31 and downstream cofferdam by June 30.  

It was also mentioned that concreting of spill channel, construction of pilot channel and approach channel would be completed by June 30.  But, explaining the project status, the department mentioned in the same report that only 14 per cent of the concrete works for spillway and spill channel were completed so far. It has also stated that the completion of head work was only 39 %.

The Polavaram Project Authority on Thursday said that there were some bottlenecks in spillway and concrete works and they were not progressing well. Although the Water Resource Department told the Authority that the concrete work for spill channel and allied works would be completed by June 30,   PPA CEO Sk Haldar clearly said that it would be difficult to complete the project by 2019 if the above works were not completed by at least by the end of December.  

Due to inordinate delay in procuring cooling plants for concrete works and some other reasons, little progress was recorded in the concrete works. Though, Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari set a target of 7,000 CuM of concrete per day to contract agency, the concrete work at spillway and spilling basin executed between January 1 and 7 was only 10,633 CuM only. The total concrete work for spillway needed to be executed is 16.04 lakh CuM. “As a result, the PPA members were reportedly not satisfied with the clarifications given by the State government officials over the work progress and deadlines for completion of works,” said a senior official of Water Resources Department. 

The Water Resource Department officials informed the PPA about cost escalation if some part of works of spillway and spill channel were deleted from the main contractor and entrusted to a new agency. “As per agreement (with Transstroy), the cost of spillway concrete, spill channel excavation and spill channel concrete is Rs 1,217.55 crore. If the part works are entrusted to new contractor, the cost will go up to Rs 1,483.22 crore as per current price value,” a senior official said.