Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday said that the Andhra Pradesh government would not utilise the full storage capacity of the Polavaram irrigation project on the Godavari river until the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) of the affected families was completed up to +45.72 contour.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) mandates that the State government should not store water to the full capacity in the first year of commissioning of the project in view of dam security.
“Water can only be stored to the full capacity in a phased manner for three years in a row for the dam security as mandated by the CWC. In this case, either the State government will complete the R&R exercise or will not go for utilisation of the project’s full storage capacity,” said Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Addressing the flood victims on the banks of the Sabari river in Chintoor Agency, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said the battle was on with the Centre for ₹20,000 crore required to complete the project and the R&R exercise up to +45.72 contour.
“The State must rely upon the Centre as it cannot afford to bear ₹20,000 crore. We are appealing, battling and fighting with the Centre for funds. More efforts will be put in this regard,” said Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
On the other hand, the State government has spent ₹2,900 crore on the Polavaram project and it is yet to be reimbursed by the Centre, he said.
The Chief Minister vowed to complete the R&R exercise up to +41.15 contour by September. “If there is no alternative option, the State will spend (nearly ₹2,000 crore) to complete the R&R exercise up to +41.15 contour and later go for reimbursement,” said the Chief Minister.
During his visit to Kalleru panchayat on the banks of the Sabari in Alluri Sitarama Raju district, the Chief Minister announced ₹10,000 compensation to those whose thatched houses got damaged in the floods.