The overall project outlay, however, remains at Rs 16,010 crore, says government

The cost components of Polavaram project have been enhanced due to its enlarged scope with design alterations at the instance of the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the need to absorb price fluctuations of construction material as per the 2011-12 Standard Scheduled Rates (SSRs), the government said.

Despite the hike, the overall project outlay, which was revised two years ago and approved by the Union Government, remains at Rs 16,010 crore, it asserted.

Alterations have been introduced in the original design to increase the dam’s discharge capacity to 50 lakh cusecs from 36 lakh cusecs, considering the Godavari’s track record of very heavy floods at the proposed site for the dam, and to increase of the spillway length from 660 metres to 1,000 metres and provide for foundations accordingly. Ten river-sluices will have to be constructed in the spillway as an additional feature besides sheet piles for river diversion, explained M. Venkateswara Rao, engineer-in-chief, Polavaram project.

At a media conference, Mr Rao, however, said there would not be any change in the waterspread area of the reservoir at its full level (150 ft MSL) due to these alterations, nor would there be any increase in the number of villages marked for submersion in the State beyond 276. Major Irrigation Minister P. Sudarshan Reddy was to address the media but he could not make it.

Apprehensions

The total cost of the project’s head works, originally fixed at Rs 4,041 crore, was increased long ago to Rs 7,372 crore by Rs 3,331 crore but there were apprehensions as the government issued the administrative sanction for this two days ago. The Rs 4,717-crore Internal Bench Mark cost of the three main components covered by tender process—rockfill-cum-earthen dam, spillway and foundations for the dam’s powerhouse, would also remain unchanged.

He said the extra sum was meant for implementation of right and left side connectivities, construction of buildings, communication network, electrical/mechanical works of the powerhouse, etc.


  • Alterations in design to increase dam’s discharge capacity to 50 lakh cusecs from 36 lakh cusecs, considering the Godavari’s track record

  • No change in waterspread area, nor increase in number of villages marked for submersion due to the changed design