Polavaram is the dream project of Andhra Pradesh. Once completed, this project will quench the thirst of the people of the state and ill irrigates half the state’s agricultural land. It will address the needs of the Rayalaseema too. The people of the state always yearned for the project and rooted for the speeding up of the project.
The project was conceptualised and conceived by late YS Rajasekhara Reddy and now being brought to fruition by his illustrious son YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Chandrababu Naidu, who reigned for five years in between, is said to have turned it into a milch cow. Yet, the TDP showed a lot of bravado when the then irrigation minister Devineni Uma slapped his thigh in a show of belligerence and said he would complete the project as per the timelines. But, the works remained where they were and there was no progress whatsoever. It was only after YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took over the reins of power and Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) took up the work. Ever since, the works are going ahead at a brisk pace and the employees are toiling day and night. Even during the recent devastating floods, the works did not halt and went on even during the night times.
The MEIL has deployed UniQ machines, which are state-of-the art and cutting-edge, to speed up the works. The MEIL is determined to complete the works within the stipulated timelines. While the work during Chandrababu regime, Polavaram has competed with a snail, while now it is competing with a speeding cheetah. As a result, more and more people are now confident that the project would be completed on time. The speed of Polavaram works, in short, tells us the tale of two contrasting governances. They are as different as the chalk and the cheese.
The MEIL is racing against the time to complete the construction of the Spillway. Prior to MEIL taking up the work, the height of the piers was at 28 metres. Now, it has reached 52 meters. As of now 171 girders have been constructed and another 84 girlders would be set up on the spillway piers. 250 metres of The slab of the slab on ten piers is nearing completion. Besides, shutting works and steel fixing are also going on at a brisk pace. Trunnian beams are also being set up at a considerable speed. Already 20 trunnion beams have been installed and the setting up of gates is being taken up.
As of now, 1,94,944 cubic metres of concrete has been laid in the spill way. Similarly, 1,10,033 cubic metres of concrete works and 10,64,417 cubic metres of the earth work have been completed in the spill channel. The works, which were temporarily halted due to submergence, have recommenced after removing the water. Plans are afoot to wrap up these works this season.
The Gap 1 Diaphragm wall works are also going on apace. So are the 2 columns construction works. In the Gap 3, earth removal and stone crushing has also been accomplished. As for the all-important 902 hill digging works, so far 1,88,623 cubic metres of the work has been completed. The MEIL has also speeded up the repair of the Coffer Dam, which suffered damage due to the recent floods.
Despite Corona scare and despite the massive floods, the AP Government and the MEIL have forged ahead with Polavaram works and they are endeavouring to accomplish the work targets as per the deadlines. Jagan’s dedicated and committed decision making and MEIL’s acumen and steadfastness have set new benchmarks in progress of this project. It appears the day is not far off when those who raised questions over the Polavaram works will become unequivocal in its praise. The Polavaram project, make no mistake, is getting ready.