PABR to be assessed among four in A.P. for dam improvement project

The reservoir with a capacity of 11 tmcft, is being used only up to 5 tmcft due to various factors

Updated - December 16, 2022 09:55 am IST

Published - December 16, 2022 06:42 am IST - ANANTAPUR

The Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir in Anantapur district, is not utilised to its full capacity due to repairs to be taken up on the dam.

The Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir in Anantapur district, is not utilised to its full capacity due to repairs to be taken up on the dam. | Photo Credit: RAMESH SUSARLA

The Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir (PABR) dam in Anantapur district has been chosen for assessment for its fitness to be improved and rehabilitated under the externally-funded Central government scheme, Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP II Phase), along with Somasila Project, Tamileru in West Godavari, and Rollapadu in Prakasam district.

A special team of experts on dam safety will visit the PABR and three other projects in the third week of December to assess the fitness/necessity of those dams to be included in the project. 

Constructed in 1994, the PABR with its original capacity of 11 tmcft, is being used only up to 5 tmcft due to various factors like the safety of the dam due to small leakages noticed above the current level maximum storage, which needs geo-membrane coating and acquisition of additional 1400 acres for full capacity utilisation of the Tungabhadra water coming through the High-Level Main Canal (HLMC).

In addition to the dam, the 60-year-old TB-HLMC canal also needs to be modernised for the PABR to receive sufficient water in time. Modernisation works have been stopped since 2017 and the YSR Congress Party Government has put a ban on reviving the works on completion of the project. Based on the success of the First Phase of DRIP, the Ministry of Jal Shakti initiated DRIP Phase II and III in 19 States, and three Central Agencies are on board. 

The budget outlay is ₹10,211 crore (Phase II: ₹5107 crore; Phase III: ₹5,104 crore) with rehabilitation provision of 736 dams. The scheme is of 10 years duration, to be implemented in two phases, each of six-year duration with two years overlapping. The Scheme is effective October 12, last year. The Phase II of the Scheme is being co-financed by two multi-lateral funding agencies — he World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with funding of US$ 250 million each. The loan signing ceremony was held on August 4, last year, and May 12, 2022, respectively. 

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