No deadline for completion of Polavaram, says Ambati Rambabu

Water resources minister Ambati Rambabu releases water to Godavari Delta at Dowleswaram on Wednesday
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Water resources minister Ambati Rambabu releases water to Godavari Delta at Dowleswaram on Wednesday 

Highlights

  • Water resources development minister releases water to the Godavari Delta at Dowleswaram
  • Indicates that project might take a long time for completion because of the damage caused to the diaphragm wall due to heavy floods in Godavari

Vijayawada: Water resources minister Ambati Rambabu asserted on Wednesday that there was no deadline to complete the Polavaram multipurpose project. The previous Chandrababu Naidu government planned to complete the project by June 2019 but, upon assuming power in May 2019, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government first set December 2022 as the deadline for completion of Polavaram (irrigation component).

Subsequently, it reset the deadline to June 2023, after the "reverse tendering" process was brought in. After releasing irrigation water to the Godavari Delta on Wednesday, the state water resources minister said the Polavaram project might take a long time for completion.

"There is no deadline whatsoever Polavaram. It may take a very long time, like any such major project. We will do it in a phased manner," the minister told reporters in Dowaleswaram.

He pointed out that the first phase of the project itself was not done so far. "We are trying desperately to complete the Phase-1 before the elections (due in April 2024)," Rambabu said.

He claimed that the damage caused to the diaphragm wall due to heavy floods in Godavari was the cause for delay in Polavaram works. "Damage to the diaphragm wall is a dangerous signal. Experts are breaking their heads on whether the existing diaphragm wall should be repaired or a new one built," the minister said. The lower cofferdam has to be first completed this season ahead of rains before the diaphragm wall was constructed, he added.

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