Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar has demanded that the Centre constitute a committee comprising experts of the Central Water Commission (CWC) to study the backwaters effects of the Polavaram Project, under construction in Andhra Pradesh, on Telangana’s famous temple town of Bhadrachalam to avert “catastrophic consequences” of a potential massive deluge in the future.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the Minister said last week’s massive floods in the Godavari at Bhadrachalam had led to widespread submergence, more severe than the highest ever flood level recorded in 1986.
If the Polavaram project was constructed by increasing the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) from 36 lakh cusecs to 50 lakh cusecs, the entire Bhadrachalam town and its surrounding areas would face a massive deluge of unfathomable proportions, he said.
Transfer of villages
Mr. Ajay Kumar demanded that the Centre table a Bill in the ongoing session of Parliament to ensure re-transfer of five villages, those situated in close proximity to Bhadrachalam, to Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.
It is imperative to re-merge the five villages with Telangana for taking up construction of structures to find a permanent solution to the recurrent flood threat to Bhadrachalam, he said, urging the Andhra Pradesh government to positively respond in this regard.
The BJP regime at the Centre was responsible for the present precarious situation facing Bhadrachalam, he alleged, recalling that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao wrote a letter opposing the ordinance brought by the BJP-led Central government deleting seven mandals from Khammam district and transferring them to Andhra Pradesh in 2014. Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao also gave a call for Telangana bandh against the Centre’s “arbitrary” and “undemocratic” move at that time, he added.
Mr. Ajay Kumar said the flood relief operations were under way in a mission mode in Bhadrachalam and other flood-affected areas of Bhadradri Kothagudem district.
Each flood-affected family was being provided 20 kg rice and five kg red gram and efforts were on to disburse ₹10,000 compensation to each family by crediting the amount into their bank accounts.
Earlier, the Minister formally released Krishna waters from the Palair balancing reservoir into the main irrigation canal in Kusumanchi mandal for the benefit of ayacutdars of the Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) left bank canal system in the district. He performed special pujas at the head regulator of the balancing reservoir on the occasion.
Palair MLA K Upender Reddy, MLC Tata Madhusudhan, Sattupalli MLA S Venkata Veeraiah and others were present.