Polavaram: For the first time in the world, the efforts are at a superfast track mode to install the heavy gates for the Polavaram project. MEIL is planning to install the rare gates with the hydraulic system for the project. There are only two projects in the world have this hydraulics system gates. These are the first heaviest gates with the hydraulic system in the world. To make this to happen by this year end, the process of placing the Girders on the spillway has begun on Monday. After a traditional pooja performed, the Girders placed on the 45 and 46 blocks of the spillway. After completion of placing Girders on the spillway, the hydraulic gates will be installed. With this process, the floods will not affect the progress of project work. The existing reservoirs in the state have the electro-mechanical gates. The operating cost is very higher as the iron ropes to be changed frequently. To overcome this, MEIL is planning to install cost-effective and most advance hydraulic gates in the Polavaram project.
Girders on Spillway
A significant milestone has achieved in the Polavaram Project history. The process of placing the world’s biggest Girders on the spillway has commenced on Monday. The water resources department officials are making arrangements for this event for the past few days. The superintendent engineer (SE) Mr Nagireddy supervised the conditions and given the green signal to place the Girders today. The Girders were placed on the 45 and 46 blocks of spillway. After performing a traditional pooja at the site by water resources officials and MEIL engineers and workers, the work has begun to set the Girders on the spillway. This is one of the vital turning points in completing the project before the deadline.
What a difference in the progress of Polavaram project works! One can clearly distinguish it from the pace of work during the erstwhile government. During the rein of Chandrababu Naidu, it was all an illusion with graphics, but now the pace of the works is a visible reality; the determination of present Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, supplemented with an effective action plan has given the needed momentum to the project works, which have now reached a critical stage. With the fast pace of works related to the spillway, now it has come to a stage where even the floods in the Godavari also cannot affect the progress of works.
As the critical spillway works have now taken a concrete shape, contracting company Megha Engineering Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) is now focussing on other main works of the project, like installing Girders and Piers to Spillway. These type of works are very critical for a reservoir, more so for a project like Polavaram, where the world’s largest spillway is being constructed. As the spillway is biggest in the world, all the ancillary works also would be in gigantic in nature. As such, biggest Girders are being established here in this spillway. Now there are no gimmicks, no graphics, except the real progress in works!
Installation of world’s largest Girders at Polavaram
Before initiating works related to gates in Spillway, Girders are to be installed first as part of constructing internal embedded parts. Now this work has been initiated for installing 56 Girders under the supervision of experts, engineers of MEIL and officials of Irrigation Department. Indeed it is complicated and more challenging work as each Girder is weighing around 62 Tones.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy is more keen to complete Polavaram project for fulfilling the aspirations of people. Accordingly, MEIL has increased the pace of the construction works and already completed construction of Piers for 52 blocks in the spillway. If the Girders are installed on Spillway Piers, it can be considered that the majority works of Spill Channel are over. A total of 48 gates would be installed here. By the time MEIL took up this project, works related to Piers were in different stages. Now they are completed up to 52 meters of height. Compared to laying concrete on flat land, concreting narrow Piers is a complex process. If it is for a multi-purpose project like Polavaram, it is much more complicated as it requires following stringent construction rules. With its proven mettle, MEIL is completing this work without any hiccups.
The total distance of spillway is 1.2 Kms. It is considered as the world’s biggest spillway. While Three Gorges Dam constructed with an outflow capacity of 47 Lakh Cusecs, Polavarm project is being constructed with an outflow capacity of more than 50 Lakh Cusecs of floodwater. Girders are very critical in the spillway, which used for water management and flood control. Maintenance of gates is critical for the effective functioning of the spillway. And these gates are managed by establishing hoist arrangements on these Girders.
Giant Girders, each weighing 62 Tones
On the whole, 196 Girders would be installed on the Spillway Piers of Polavaram. Each Girder weighs about 62 tones. At present, 110 Girders are ready for installation. All these were prepared within two months, while work for the rest is going on. Nearly 25 Cum of concrete and 10 tonnes of steel used for making each Girder. It will take at least one month time for installing all these Girders in order on the Piers on the spillway, under the supervision of engineers. After installing the Girders, a mesh kind of structure would be formed using iron rods. A concrete road would be constructed above this mesh structure. At least 5000 Cum of concrete is required for construction of this road. If these works completed, it would mean all the main works of the project except the fitting of gates are over.
MEIL is taking measures to continue other works even while carrying the works related to the installation of Girders. A heavy crane weighing about 200 Tones is being used for the installation of Girders. Each Girder will have a height of 2 Meters. If the installation of Girders and road work completed, then there would be no disturbance for continuing the works related Gap 1, 3 and Earth cum Rockfill Dam, even if there is a flood in Godavari River.
Completion of mega works in a short span
By the end of June, MEIL could complete 1.11 lakh Cum of concrete work in Spill channel. It could also complete 1.41 lakh Cum in Spillway, 3.10 lakh Cum of concrete work in Hydro-electric project, along with 10.64 lakh Cum of earthwork, 1.14 lakh Cum of stone crushing and 10.86 lakh Cum of Vibro-compaction works. With all this, MEIL is confidently moving ahead with a firm determination to complete all the project works within the expected time frame.
Polavaram multi-purpose project is being constructed to provide irrigation water for 7.2 lakh acres, 960 MWs of power generation, transporting 80 TMCs of Godavari water to Krishna River above Prakasham Barrage, providing 23.44 TMCs of drinking water to Vishakapatnam city and also 28.5 lakh people belonging to 540 villages. On this front, the ongoing works like completion of the spillway, earth-cum-rock fill dam and other ancillary works, construction of hydro-electric project and cofferdam at upper and lower reach, are very critical for this project
Initiated by YS – Implemented by Jagan
In 2005, then Chief Minister Dr. Y.S Rajashekhar Reddy took the initiative for construction works of Polavaram project; Right and left canals completed during his government. Pattisseema has taken up on that right canal. When Andhra Pradesh in bifurcated into two states, Central Government declared
Polavaram Project as a National Project. After coming to power in 2014, then TDP government assured the speedy implementation of this project. As Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu visited Polavram site at least 30 times. He reviewed the progress through video conference from Secretariat at least 90 times.
He also assured in the Assembly that irrigation would be provided to the first crop in 2018 itself. But the reality is different as there was tardy progress in works. By the time of assembly elections in 2019, his government even could not complete the critical works. In an election rally in Rajahmundry, Prime Minister himself made a serious allegation that Polavaram project has become an ATM for TDP party.
It is common that once a project is declared as National Project, it is the responsibility of the Central Government to bear entire costs for construction. But with an intention to appropriate money, then TDP government has taken permission from the Central Government to construct the project with central funds. So far, nearly 23 national projects have been completed in the country. Never in history, any state government has taken funds from the central government by assuring that it would take the responsibility of constructing the project. Chandrababu government went ahead with this proposition, and now it is clear why it has done so. The irregularities in implementation of the project and allegation of Prime Minister clearly explains the ill-intention of the TDP government. After coming into power in 2019, YCP governmet.