Polavaram Project: Land acquisition at a snail’s pace

Polavaram Project: Land acquisition at a snail’s pace
Highlights

Chief Minister N Chandrababau Naidu is claiming that water will be released from Polavaram Project through gravity by 2018 and the prestigious project will be completed by 2019.

While 1.54 lakh acres have to be acquired from the four districts of East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Krishna, so far the process has been completed only for 83,435 acres

Rajamahendravaram: Chief Minister N Chandrababau Naidu is claiming that water will be released from Polavaram Project through gravity by 2018 and the prestigious project will be completed by 2019.

But the ground reality is different and the land acquisition is going on at snail’s pace. The revenue authorities have been told to complete the land acquisition in the 3rd contour (41 meters or 135 feet above sea level) for Polavaram Project which consists of 50 habitats by August, 2018.

The reality is that only seven habitations have been vacated since 2005. People from another 43 habitations need to be vacated within one year. As per estimation, 1.54 lakh acres have to be acquired for the Polavaram Project in East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Krishna districts and only 83,435 acres have been acquired so far.

In East Godavari district alone, 1.01 lakh acres have to be acquired for headwork, canal works, submergence, land to land, land for resettlement and rehabilitation colonies and from mandals transferred from erstwhile Khammam to East Godavari district whereas only 47,000 acres have been acquired so far.

As far as the West Godavari district is concerned, 46,109 acres have to be acquired for the project while 28,864 acres have been acquired so far. In Visakhapatnam and Krishna districts, land acquisition for left main and right main canals has been completed.

The critical phase of the land acquisition for the Polavaram will begin when it comes to 4th contour (45.72 meters or 150 feet above sea level) in 184 habitats mostly in merged mandals of Chintur, V.R Puram, Koonavaram and Yetapaka.

These mandals are in thick forest area and the land acquisition in about 184 habitats in these mandals will commence only after completion of the land acquisition in the 3rd contour, according to officials.

Keeping the ground realities in mind, it seems that the completion of Polavaram Project will take much more time than the time for completion being claimed by the State government.

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