Andhra Pradesh

Polavaram cofferdam work will begin in April next, says official

Polavaram project Superintendent Engineer Medapati Nagireddy has said that supply of water from the Godavari will be stopped from March 31, 2021 as work on cofferdam will commence in April.

At a joint meeting of the Irrigation Advisory Boards (IAB) of East and West Godavari districts held here on Tuesday, Mr. Nagireddy said construction of cofferdam in the Cap-3 (300 meter length) would begin in April and complete by June as it was proposed to complete the project by December 2021.

“A maximum of 9,000 cusecs of water per day can be supplied till March 31. Farmers have to go for the 90-day duration crop varieties of paddy instead of 120 or 130-day crop varieties in the rabi season. We do not have any alternative way to manage the schedule as per the plan of the Polavaram Project Authority,” said Mr. Nagireddy in response to a request for release of water till mid-April to save the rabi season crops undertaken in the Godavari delta.

The authorities of East and West Godavari districts have been asked to manage the situation by storing water in various sources including ponds to meet the water needs for drinking and livestock.

Crop acreage

In the rabi season, the normal acreage under the paddy cultivation is 4.36 lakh acres in East Godavari and 4.60 lakh acres in West Godavari in the Central, Eastern and Western delta of the river Godavari.

East Godavari Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy said: “About 75% of harvesting of paddy in the kharif season is yet to be completed. In rabi season, the crop duration of the paddy varieties preferred in the district is 120-130 days, needing water after March. The Konaseema region will be the most affected if the water supply is stopped from April 1.”

Water management

Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu observed that keeping in view the priority of the Polavaram irrigation project, the management of water was crucial and the departments of agriculture and irrigation should work in tandem for it.

The Polavaram cofferdam closure period -- March to June 2021-- should be dedicated for modernisation and maintenance of the irrigation systems.

An action plan for it should be prepared, said Mr. Kannababu.

East Godavari In-Charge Minister D. Krishna Das, Social Welfare Minister P. Viswarup, West Godavari Collector Revu Mutyala Raju, and irrigation officials were present in the meeting.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 6:15:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/polavaram-cofferdam-work-will-begin-in-april-next-says-official/article33172642.ece

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