As the works going on at full pace, Polavaram Project site has got a new life with nearly 5000 workers working day and night under the guidance of experts and engineers using heavy sophisticated technology to complete 3.07 lakh Cubic Meters of concrete work in a record span of 7-8 months. Taking a cue from the determination of state government, Megha Engineering Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) is placing all its resources and energies on this mega multipurpose project on the Godavari River. The construction site of this prestigious project has got a festive look with that bristling activity by workers, deployment of heavy machines and continuous movement of vehicles, setting aside all the lull over the last few years. Started more than a decade back, project works moved at a snail pace, unable to maintain the requisite speed for scheduled completion of the project.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is very keen on completing this project at a much faster pace. The intention is to stop the drain of Godavari water and help the farmers to get more irrigation water in the shortest possible time. Accordingly, the Chief Minister is regularly monitoring the project works. He is planning to visit the project site on 27th February to personally observe the works and provide needed guidance to bring further momentum to ongoing works.
Project works have now reached a critical stage as it is intended to complete the works related to the main reservoir including the spillway, earth cum rockfill dam by 2021 Kharif season. MEIL has designed a work plan with specific milestones for these works as per the target given by the Chief Minister. If all goes on well as the planned. Works related to 53 blocks of Spillway are more critical among them; MEIL has placed sophisticated modern technology and required engineering manpower to complete the task in scheduled time. Required arrangements were also made to complete the earth and concrete works as per monthly targets.
MEIL has awarded this project in reverse tendering process, enabling a saving of Rs 628 crores to the State Government. Though works were re-initiated in November last year, they could not gain expected momentum with unforeseen floods in Godavari River that lasted for many more days, resulting into the accumulation of nearly 4 TMCs of water at the construction site. Roads in the project site heavily damaged as the whole area got submerged underwater. It took nearly 3 months for MEIL to de-water the area and re-construct the roads for creating work area. Works had taken a new pace since February as all such obstacles have been addressed.
Once completed, the Polavaram Project would provide irrigation for 1.30 Lakh acres in East and West Godavari Districts and it would divert 80 TMCs of Krishna water and stabilize 13 Lakh acres of Ayacut in Delta Area during Rabi season, apart from providing irrigation to 1.60 Lakh acres through Left Canal. The project would also provide 23.44 TMCs of drinking water to Vishakhapatnam city.
Concrete works on a fast pace
The critical spillway of the reservoir contained 53 blocks, each with a height of 55 meters and nearly 2.5 Lakhs cubic meters of total concrete work. It would take 4 days to construct one-meter height. Works are going on intensively to increase the height of 12 blocks every day. By the end of January, MEIL could complete 25000 cubic meters, overcoming all the obstacles due to the floods. The work gained further momentum to complete 40000 cubic meters by February. The company is planning to improve the pace to complete 50000 cubic meters of work in March. MEIL has set a deadline to complete 2.05 Lakh cubic meter works during April-June. Considering the complexity of the work when height increases, the company has placed the required technology to address all the problems.
Concrete work of Pears in Spillway Block is going on a brisk pace with a target of 1500 cubic meters work per day. Basement works of Earth cum Rockfill Dam have been already initiated. The reservoir has 3 critical divisions consisting of Gap, Spillway, and Earth cum Rock-fill Dam. Gap -3 is a small concrete dam with a length of 150 meters. Gap-2 will have an Earth cum Rock-fill Dam with a length of 1.75 Kms. Gap -1 would also have an Earth cum Rock-fill Dam with a length of 450 meters. Lengthwise this reservoir is the first of its kind in both the Telugu States; It requires a huge quantity of material for concrete and earthworks.
Tests for Rock-fill Dam…
While preliminary technical estimates are already completed, Vibro compaction tests for evaluating hardness of sand deep in the river are being carried out. Coffer Dam works at the upper and lower end of the project are completed, which would enable diverting floodwater and avoid any interruptions for the project works with unforeseen floods. Preparations have been made to initiate Gap-1 works related to Diaphragm wall concrete works.
MEIL Target to complete works by mid 2021
Engineering official explained about the Govt targets to complete the project, “spillway concrete work would be completed by June 2020. Bridgeworks of the spillway would be finished by the end of August, and channel bridge works would be over by May 2021. As the designs of these works are approved, works are being taken up at a fast pace. All the works related to Divide Wall, Training Wall and Guide Wall would be completed by May end this year. The entire project has a total concrete work of 3.07 Lakhs Cubic Meters. MEIL intended to complete all these works within the next 7 months, well before the onset of floods in the Godavari. Other works like project coating, surface dressing and road finishing would be completed by August 2021.