Experts to visit Polavaram on May 23

G. Nagaraja
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Supreme Court constitutes commission in response to a petition filed by Orissa government

Fact-finding mission:The Indirasagar Right Canal works in progress near Munduru in West Godavari district.-Photo A.V.G. Prasad
Fact-finding mission:The Indirasagar Right Canal works in progress near Munduru in West Godavari district.-Photo A.V.G. Prasad

The one-man commission, headed by M. Gopalakrishnan, former Chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC), is scheduled to visit the Indirasagar Project site near Polavaram in West Godavari district on May 23.

The commission was constituted by the Supreme Court for a fact-finding mission in response to a petition filed by the Orissa government on the alleged non-compliance of the Bachawat Tribunal Award, with regard to the project height, by the Andhra Pradesh government.

The commission, accompanied by experts from the CWC, is expected to visit the dam site and take a fresh look at the project designs and drawings, for two days, from May 23.


The State government in its affidavit stated that it had gone ahead with the construction of the dam with a height of 150 FRL in line with the approval of the designs by the CWC so as to facilitate the maximum probable flood discharge of 50 lakh cusecs.

However, the Orissa government contended that the construction of the dam, allegedly in violation of the Bachawat Tribunal's guidelines, would lead to submergence of seven habitations and 2,535 acres upstream falling under that State. In Madhya Pradesh too, there was submergence threat to 10 villages and 3,716 habitations, it is apprehended.

M.V. Suryanarayana Raju of the Godavari Delta Parirakshana Samithi said the question of non-compliance of the tribunal's award with regard to dam height would obviously not arise as the dam construction still remained a non-starter.

The construction of the spillway and the rock-fill dam works were abandoned midway following a dispute between the contracting agencies and the government over the revision of design, forcing the government to call for fresh tenders.

Project cost

According to latest estimates, the project cost is Rs. 16,000 crore, up from from Rs 10,680 crore at the time of inception.

The Sate government went ahead with the construction work of the right and the left bank canals without waiting for the Centre's clearances for construction of the main dam.

  • CWC experts to accompany the commission

  • Panel to take a fresh look at project designs

  • O


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