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Polavaram backwaters has no impact on Telangana, AP govt. reiterates at PPA meeting
The Andhra Pradesh state government has once again made it clear to the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) that the land in Telangana will not be flooded at all due to the backwater impact of the Polavaram project
The Andhra Pradesh state government has once again made it clear to the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) that the land in Telangana will not be flooded at all due to the backwater impact of the Polavaram project. It said that a joint survey has been conducted with Telangana Water Resources Department officials on the impact of the project backwater on the Kinnerasani and Murredu tributaries and details will be sent to the Central Water Commission (CWC) within 12 months. The government said that according to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Declaration-2006, Gram Sabhas should be held within 45 days of the issuance of the notification, stating that the Governments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh have not yet held Gram Sabhas in flood prone areas.
A letter was written to Union Forest and Environment Secretary Rameshwar Prasad Gupta on May 15 asking him to hold gram sabhas in those states with the regulatory authority as per EIA-2006 regulations. The government clarified that the construction work of the project is being carried out in accordance with the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Polavaram Project Authority Chairman Chandrasekhar Iyer on Thursday held a wide-ranging meeting with AP, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha Water Resources Department officials, CWC and Union Forest Environment Department officials on a virtual basis on issues raised by the NGT in the wake of a petition filed alleging flooding of Telangana territory due to construction of Polavaram project. AP Water Resources Secretary J Shyamala Rao, ENC C Narayanareddy, CE Sudhakarbabu, Telangana ENC Muralidhar, CWC Hydrology Department CE C Lal and Central Forest Environment Department officials were present while officials from Odisha and Chhattisgarh were absent.
Telangana ENC Muralidhar said at the meeting that the Polavaram project is being constructed with an estimated flood flow of 50 lakh cusecs, which will cause landslides in Telangana. In this backdrop, AP ENC Narayana Reddy denied that it was an apocalypse and clarified that a maximum flood of 36 lakh cusecs was recorded on August 16, 1986 in the history of Godavari river and the project was being constructed so that it could be easily released downstream even if 50 lakh cusecs was received for project safety as per CWC directives. He reminded that the CWC had conducted a backwater survey with the expectation of a flood of 36 lakh cusecs at Polavaram and was found that not a single acre in Telangana was submerged.
AP ENC further said they had conducted a survey with Telangana authorities on the impact of backwaters on the Murredu and Kinnerasani tributaries and that the details would be sent to the CWC within 12 months. The governments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh have said that the Polavaram backwaters will cause flooding in their states. AP Water Resources Secretary Shyamala Rao said that they are ready to build defensive walls to avoid that problem. Central Forest and Environment Ministry officials said they would take appropriate decision on the letter written by the AP officials to hold gram sabhas in the flood-affected areas. PPA Chairman Chandrasekhar Iyer said the project was targeted to be completed by April 2022 and rehabilitate the displaced.