AP lifeline Polavaram to complete before deadline

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MEIL (Megha Engineering Infrastructures Limited), the infrastructure giant, has taken massive efforts to effectively accelerate towards smooth completion of the Polavaram project before the deadline. The government has made adequate decisions to ensure that the plan is finalized within the promised proposed timeframe.

In the meantime, MEIL has expedited the basic drills to implement the project, including the 62818 cubic meters of work on the project’s spillway. To speed up the major work of the project, they have begun soil testing in the Godavari river basin. This will initiate the main task of the project by way of Vibro Compaction work under progress, the preliminary work on the construction of Gap-1, the construction of the Hydroelectric Center (Blasting), the upper and lower cofferdam required, and the flooding of the project.

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It is of utmost importance that the objectives of the project structure, along with design permission, be achieved scientifically. Achievement of this is crucial, as there is no use in speeding up the project without approval. Successful completion is possible only when there is a successful step-by-step accomplishment of the project guidelines.

During the review and inspection conducted by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, the management of Megha Engineering Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) made it clear that the permits be completed per the stipulated deadlines. The Chief Minister ordered the appointment of two special officers in Delhi and Hyderabad to obtain the design permits without hassles. Since then, things have gained momentum, ensuring that the rules and procedures (engineering) of the project are precise. The past government had not adhered to this. The construction of the project was further complicated because the floods have not brought water into the project. It has led to the sinking of vulnerable villages. This has caused the situation to go awry and created obstacles that needed to be rectified. The project was handed over to MEIL in November. It got tough to finish in three months.

Chandrababu’s Naidu’s government has given priority to the construction of the cofferdam in the project. They tried to ensure at least partial completion of the project by filling the cofferdam with some water. There was a release of water to the right and left canals during the flood. It was the opposite of an engineering approach. He laid immense pressure on the central government and agreed to construct a 42.5-meter high cofferdam. This kind of permit has been granted only at Polavaram.

The cofferdam is a temporary structure built for the diversion of water in the main reservoir during the construction of the dam. It is supposed to have prevented the downstream flow of water.

Unfortunately, it resulted in the submergence of some villages and washing away of the roads built in the construction area. At least 4 TMCs (thousand million cubic feet) of water were to be transferred, and pumping missions came to a standstill for almost 3 months. It caused further delay and made it impossible to get things completed by the end of January.

Equal importance should have been given to all the tasks related to the engineering method, but the previous government gave priority only to the cofferdam with the spillway. Even this was tough to wrap up on time. The project included the Earth Cum Rockfill Dam (main dam) and its three gaps, the spillway, the spill channel, the approach channel, the pilot channel, and the hydropower station. The previous government had neglected to carry out these tasks, and this is understandable due to the lack of gutter in the hydropower plant.

Megha Engineering undertook the spillway work; 20631 cubic meters in January, 32124 cubic meters in February, and 21358 cubic meters completed in March. The project highlighted the construction of spillway beams, as well as bridges, dividing wall, lifting wall, and the guide wall. Side by side, at the same time, major work such as the Earth Cum Rockfill Dam, its three gaps, and the hydroelectric power plant are progressing rapidly.

In fact, during the time of Chandrababu’s Naidu, the development of the project was irregular. When Rajasekhara Reddy was the Chief Minister, the key permissions were already achieved. After that, not much attention was paid to the project by the Congress and Telugu Desam governments. The right and left canals had been completed during Y Rajasekhara Reddy’s period.

During the time of Congress and the Telugu Desam (2010 to 2019), only a few spillways were built along with the diaphragm wall and the cofferdam. There was nothing else done beyond this.

The current government has successfully played a key role in making necessary decisions for the effective progression of this project. The quickly changed the construction company. The previous government had ignored many vital issues, which delayed the construction. There are a total of 45 designs in this construction, and only 35 of them were approved within 10 years, and another 8 relevant designs were not approved.

Under the scrutiny of Chief Minister Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is monitoring the progress of this project, the concerned authorities have taken the much-needed and necessary action at the grassroots level. The project design committee held a meeting on March 8th, and after elaborate discussions, they had collectively been able to decide on the pending eight designs.
The dam design review team has reviewed the Polavaram project authority proposals and rejected some of them. In particular, the Earth Cum Rockfill Dam and has essentially ruled out a proposal to build a third dam. The concrete construction being done here, the project will bestrengthened during the floods. They have given the much-needed freedom to engineering professionals in making decisions showing that the government is working beyond the interests of politicians and contractors.

The government has put pressure on a committee chaired by CWC chairman A. B. Pandya to expedite the project design’s approval process. The pending approach channel has decided to build a Rockfill guide wall on the left side and a more solid structure on the left side to cope with the emission from the spillway during floods. Similarly, the flood water released from the spillway will be on the right. The committee has also been set up to create a more durable design. The project authorities have submitted the plan to the central water body for the work of the river from the spill channel through the flood water pilot channel into the Godavari River. The government has emphasized to get permission for this.

The clay and rock construction work on the main dam Gap-1 has not yet been approved. It is a known fact to all on how important this is for the project. It is to be noted that the previous government failed to pay attention to providing this permission. Gap-2 also discussed the kind of structure that should exist and made proposals accordingly.Several engineering projects are now underway, and it is now believed that the Polavaram project will be completed on time.

Note: 10063 km of work has been completed in March as of now. We will collect and modify this information as of March 10, the date on which we will publish it on social media. As time is running out, the project will be given sufficient importance to meet the floodwaters of River Godavari in obtaining both architectural and engineering permits. The State Government has given priority to complete work related to the engineering and scientific part of the project. Going forward, all the shortcomings of this project during the regime of the previous government is gradually being rectified. This will enable the successful completion of this project.

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