Telangana seeks Polavaram backwater study by neutral agency

Large-scale flooding recently inundated Bhadrachalam town and nearby villages. File

Large-scale flooding recently inundated Bhadrachalam town and nearby villages. File | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Telangana has requested the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) to get the impact of the project’s backwaters, particularly on Bhadrachalam and surrounding areas of Telangana, studied by an independent agency following large-scale flooding recently inundating Bhadrachalam town and nearby villages.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the PPA, Engineer-in-Chief (General-Irrigation) of Telangana has expressed serious concerns over the Polavaram project backwater effect on Telangana, particularly the temple town of Bhadrachalam. He also asked the authority to plan protection measures against drainage congestionof Kinnerasani and Merreduvagu rivulets, both tributaries of Godavari.

Drawing the authority’s attention to the protracted correspondence made in the matter the ENC said Telangana has been requesting the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), Central Water Commission (CWC) and PPA time and again for ascertaining the extent of area getting affected in Telangana territory due to the backwater effect upstream of Polavaram project by undertaking a comprehensive study by a neutral agency for revised probable maximum flood of 50 lakh cusecs.

He pointed out that the backwater studies carried out by CWC/AP so far were only for 36 lakh cusecs flood and it does not contain critical information such as backwater levels, cross sectional profiles at historical temple town of Bhadrachalam as also at Manuguru Heavy Water Plant. It was brought to the notice of MoJS, CWC and PPA repeatedly that the important structures and coal mines are likely to be affected by submergence and other effects causing loss and destruction in the areas of Telangana.

Stating that the water depth of Bhadrachalam, river bed level of 107 ft, will be more than 28 ft throughout the year at MDDL condition (135 ft) of Polavaram project, he said it will be 43 ft if full reservoir level of 150 ft is maintained in the project. Various studies have worked out backwater level at Bhadrachalam and Dummugudem as 191.35 ft and 210.94 ft, respectively, for flood of 36 lakh cusecs having flood impact on 74 villages, with the operating level of 140 ft water level in Polavaram project.

Another 92 villages will be flooded at the operating level of Polavaram in case the flood in the river course is at 50 lakh cusecs, he explained and requested the authority to initiate measures for safeguarding the territory of Telangana and its inhabitants.

“It becomes more pronounced as seen in the recent flood event resulting in inundation of 99 villages for five days. The backwater impact on Bhadrachalam will be a common phenomenon once the Polavaram projects is completed and water is stored at FRL”, he stated.

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2022 12:59:25 pm |