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Polavaram will be ready by 2022 Kharif season: Jagan

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy inspecting the works  of the Polavaram project on Monday
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Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy inspecting the works of the Polavaram project on Monday 

Highlights

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday said water for irrigation from the Polavaram project would be released from the Kharif agricultural season in (June) 2022

Amaravati : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday said water for irrigation from the Polavaram project would be released from the Kharif agricultural season in (June) 2022.

The Chief Minister conducted an aerial survey of the project on Monday and later held a high-level meeting to review the ongoing works, after inspecting the spillway.

The state government is locked up in a tussle with the Centre over the overall project cost, including the rehabilitation and resettlement (R and R) component for project displaced families (PDFs), while close to 10,000 families have to be rehabilitated in the first phase for Polavaram to be accomplished as planned.

The state government has also been repeatedly knocking on the Centres doors for reimbursement of Rs 1,778.88 crore already spent on the project works. The Chief Minister addressed a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue in late October while state Finance and Water Resources Ministers met Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat seeking approval of the revised cost estimates.

The Jagan Mohan Reddy administration targeted completion of first phase R and R by February or March 2021 and estimated that Rs 3,330 crore would be required for this, though the revised cost estimates of Polavaram were yet to be approved by the Centre.

According to the Chief Minister, 120 tmc ft of water would be impounded in Polavaram, at a height of 41.5 m in the first phase, once the dam was built.

For this to happen, 9,882 PDFs have to be shifted from the submergence area and rehabilitated in new colonies. "Complete all the works on a war-footing before a possible flood in river Godavari in June next. The spillway and spill channel works should be completed by May end and gaps in the cofferdam have to be filled up. Only then will the dam works progress fast," Jagan told the officials at the review meeting. Even minor lapses could lead to loss of time and delay the project by a season, he warned.

The Chief Minister also wanted works on the 960 MW hydroelectric plant, part of Polavaram, to be taken up simultaneously so that the whole project goes ahead as planned. "We should finish all major works by December 2021 and complete any leftover minor works before June 2022 so that we can supply water for irrigation from Kharif 2022," Jagan added.

Deputy Chief Minister A K K Srinivas, Water Resources Minister P Anil Kumar, Special Chief Secretary Adityanath Das, Polavaram Project Authority member-secretary D Ranga Reddy and other senior officials attended.

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