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Cover Story

Why Polavaram is a pointless project

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Date:May 15, 2011

The Polavaram dam involves a huge cost but its benefit will be limited

 400,000 MAY BE DISPLACED

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the project says 276 villages will be affected; an estimated 177,275 people live in these villages. The Polavaram Project Environmental Impact Appraisal Report of 1985 expected 150,697 people to be displaced in 226 villages.

But the population of these villages according to the Census 2001 is much higher—236,834. State officials find it hard to explain the difference of 59,559 while estimating the number of people who will be displaced.

Further, in the past 10 years, the population of these villages would have increased. If one takes into account 15,105 households (60,118 persons) that would be displaced by the two canals, then one arrives at the figure of 317,150 persons affected.

Researchers Tony Stewart and V Rukmini Rao, estimate the number of impacted people would be about 400,000 after adjusting population growth in the past decade. They conducted a detailed survey of the project-affected areas for non-profit Gramya Resource Centre for Women in Andhra Pradesh.

  WHO WILL FUND POLAVARAM DAM?

Till date the Andhra government has not found a financier for the project. Work on rehabilitation has stopped due to funds crunch. Work on the left and right canals may cease soon as no further budgetary allocation has been made for their completion. The state has been pushing for national project status for the Polavaram dam to get funds from the Centre. Earlier, the state negotiated with Austrian government for loans but the Centre refused to be the counterguarantor.

The Andhra government has also approached the World Bank and the US Exim Bank. One estimate shows that if the state spends from its irrigation budget, it may have to earmark around 80 per cent of the irrigation budget for the Polavaram project.

In 2005, the state government set aside Rs 6,500 crore for 26 irrigation projects it revived, including the Polavaram dam. That sum has been exhausted. Delay in completion of other irrigation projects has resulted in cost overrun of 583 per cent. Similar cost overrun may make it difficult to find a financier for the Polavaram project.

 MORE WATER FOR IRRIGATED AREAS

According to the documents relating to the Polavaram project, 291,000 ha of new land will be brought under irrigation—129,000 ha by right canal and 162,000 ha by the left canal. But government of India’s official data shows 71 per cent of the right canal command areas are already under irrigation since 1999. The International Water Management Institute based in Sri Lanka that studied the Krishna-Godavari river link found that 95 per cent of the areas to be irrigated by the Polavaram dam through the right canal were already irrigated; the rest five per cent areas were not under cultivation.

The government has already built two lift irrigation projects parallel to the canals—Tadipudi and Pushkharam—that will irrigate around 161,874 ha of the total area supposed to be irrigated by the Polavaram project. The Chagalnadu lift irrigation scheme, the Torrigedda and the Yeleru schemes already irrigate 51,800 ha. In effect, the Polavaram dam may irrigate only 80,937 ha of new land.

What’s more, irrigation may be hampered by siltation in the river. An analysis of 13 existing irrigation projects shows they could partly irrigate 1.3 million ha against the potential of 1.68 million ha.

 DESIGN PLAYS DOWN FLOOD THREAT

Environmental clearance for the Polavaram dam is based on a 2005 environmental impact assessment (EIA). But the Central Water Commission (CWC) changed its flood situation estimate in 2006 which has not been incorporated in the design. The Polavaram project was designed in 1980s and updated in 2005. It went by the probable maximum flood (PMF) level of 102,000 cubic metre per second (cumecs) for designing the spillway. The CWC, however, did not accept the design; it had originally accepted the spillway designed for a flood level of 102,000 cumecs on the premise that the project was a barrage.

When Godavari experienced high flood in August 2006, submerging about 370 villages for days in Andhra Pradesh, CWC made a fresh assessment of PMF at 140,000 cumecs. Consequently, CWC directed the state government to revise the Polavaram project design to handle 142,000 cumecs flood level for its spillway.

However, the National Institute of Hydrology of the Union Ministry of Water Resources estimated the PMF at 169,920 cumecs. The dam break analysis for the Polavaram dam is an essential part of its EIA.

The institute found that if the dam bursts, the peak flood will be of 198,200 cumecs. This means the project’s EIA is flawed and downplays the threat of flood. “Based on recent rainfall trends and flood history, a peak flood of 250,000 cumecs is a reality. This will wash away the dam,” says T Hanumantha Rao, former chief engineer with Andhra government. Though CWC changed the maximum flood estimate from 102,000 cumecs to 142,000 for the dam’s spillway design, Andhra Pradesh has not changed the back water level estimates based on the new PMF.

Odisha now says that the revised design would lead to very high inundation in Malkangiri.

 UNSAFE EMBANKMENTS

The project will submerge villages along the Sabari river in Konta block of Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district. In Odisha, villages along the Sabari and Sileru rivers (tributaries of the Godavari) in Motu block will be submerged. Andhra Pradesh has suggested constructing 30.2-km-long protective walls in Odisha and 29.12-km-long walls in Chhattisgarh to avoid submergence.

DAM WILL SUBMERGE VILLAGES UP TO A DISTANCE OF 150 KM
 
map
  • The Polavaram project will harness the waters of the river Godavari by building a 45.72- metre-high, 2.32-km-long dam
  • The earth and rock-filled dam will have a storage capacity of 551 million cubic metre (mcm) and power generation capacity of 960 MW. The initial proposal was for a storage reservoir with a capacity of 424.8 mcm and full reservoir level (FRL) of 45.72 metre
  • The water from the dam reservoir will irrigate 291,778 ha of agricultural land in the districts of Krishna, East and West Godavari and Visakhaptnam through two major canals
  • The dam will submerge 276 villages in Andhra Pradesh’s Khammam and East and West Godavari districts, Odisha’s Malkangiri district, and Chattisgarh’s Dantewada district, up to a distance of 150 km
polavaram
 

The embankments’ height will range from 10-30 metres and would cost Rs 600 crore. But there have been no assessments to gauge the maximum flood level that would impact the embankments.

The Odisha government has opposed the embankments, saying large reservoirs with high spillway capacity have been constructed on Kolab (Sabari), Balimela and Lower Sileru. Water from these reservoirs will flow into the Godavari, thus impacting submergence and harming the embankments’ safety. The forest clearance to the Polavaram project was given on the condition that Andhra Pradesh will construct embankments to avoid submergence.

But for these forestland will have to be diverted. There has been no attempt to assess the forestland that will be diverted for the embankments.

The forest clearance given in July 2010 put a condition that there would be no submergence and displacement in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The environment clearance given in 2005 to the Polavaram project proposal did not mention the embankments in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. This came to light only when the Central Water Commission gave clearance for the project in January 2009.

“This is a violation critical enough to scrap the environmental clearance,” says activist Himanshu Thakkar. In February 2009, MoEF’s Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects directed the Andhra government to conduct public hearings in both the states for the embankments. The state government has not done this. 

  POLAVARAM DAM DIVIDES POLITICIANS

The Polavaram dam, first proposed in 1941, was revived by former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in 2004. Most political parties of the state support the project, except the pro-Telengana groups fighting for a separate state.

The project does not benefit the Telengana region in any way; on the other hand it will submerge villages in Khammam district. “The state government should abolish the Polavarm project and explore alternative options to provide better irrigation,” says M Kodandaram of the Telengana Joint Action Committee, the forum spearheading the demand for a separate Telengana state.

Telengana has 50 per cent of the state’s potential cultivable area, but only 32 per cent of the irrigation potential created in Andhra Pradesh is in Telengana. The Polavaram project, which gives no water to Telengana, has added to the list of grievances of the people in the region.

Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, son of the late Rajasekhara Reddy and a major threat to the ruling Congress party, campaigned for the project in March this year. He demanded national status for the project. Cine star-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, who has floated his own political outfit, was not to be left out.

He met prime minister Manmohan Singh in March to seek national status for Polavaram dam. “We are in the advanced stage of getting the project declared a national project. Even if it is not accorded this status, the state will arrange for the the funds,” says N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the state chief minister.

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Comments/observations on cover story published in Down To Earth May 15, 2011 with a title “Polavaram fraud” by Richard Mahapatra

By Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Formerly Chief Technical Advisor – WMO/UN & Expert – FAO/UN
Convenor, Forum for a Sustainable Environment

Fraud is not Polavaram but it is Down To Earth.

Most unfortunately, Sunita Narain the Editor of Down To Earth and Hon’ble Minister Jairam Ramesh (MoEF, GoI) got nomination to Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh trying their best to create hurdles to Polavaram multipurpose dam of Andhra Pradesh though received Environmental Clearance under EIA Notification, 1994. Based on later enactments of laws in principle should not apply to projects cleared prior to coming in to force of such acts. And yet Andhra Pradesh government got clearances for getting national project status. Hon’ble Minister for Finance openly expressed that government has no money in 11th five year plan. In line with this Jairam Ramesh and his loyal NGO friends creating hurdles in one way or the other. If Embankments are not suitable why the central government cleared? How embankments constructed on River Krishna during British time are still working without much problem?

In the case of Gadavari River water, Andhra Pradesh so far is able to utilize only around 25% of the water it can legally use and the rest is going to sea. This was due to elevation problem of water bed in Godavari River, which requires power to lift the water. With the Polavaram and Chevella-Pranahita projects this will reach around 50%. Chevella-Pranahita require power to lift water from Godavari River while Polavaram generates around 960 MW of power that can be used in the Chevella-Pranahita project that serve drinking and irrigation needs in seven districts in Telangana zone. The state of Andhra Pradesh is providing free power to farmers as the state is producing cheap hydropower to the tune of 45% of total power production. Because of this several states are not coming forward to provide free power as thermal power is 6 to 10 times costlier than Hydropower. Now planning commission that runs under the World Bank guidelines is creating hurdles to even to Andhra Pradesh free power component.

Down To Earth is carrying out articles against Polavaram every now and then [see Down To Earth, January 31, 2008] by which keeping the tirade against Polavaram alive even after the Supreme Court appointing one man commission to look in to whether Andhra Pradesh government violated Batchawat Tribunal order of Godavari River waters. If Sunita Narain as Editor is impartial, she should have published versions of pro and against. Every time publishes trash articles just because magazine is under her.

People without understanding the basic issue start writing articles to create hurdles at the behest of vested groups. This has become a mass hysteria. The author pumped false data, equates industry/mining of Odessa to irrigation project of Andhra Pradesh. Industry/mining is to benefit individuals but irrigation projects, more particularly the multipurpose projects are to benefit people of the state. Prime Minister of India appreciated the R & R package proposed by Andhra Pradesh government to displace by Polavaram project as the best package which no other state so far has done it. Displaced people were happy to take the package to have better life to their children but vested groups/NGOs and communists are creating hurdles, yet people moved away. The R & R package is not implemented at one go but it is given in phased manner based on the progress of the project. In fact these villages submerge whenever flood comes even without dam – they have to move to safer places by which house, property is moved by floods. The pathetic life the tribals are leading are highlighting every now and then by Electronic media. It is a sad story that large number of people displaced by Naxalism from neighbouring states moved in to Andhra Pradesh forests by clearing the forests. Naturally such people will not get R & R package but the rest registered in the villages will get R & R package.

Anti-social groups like smugglers, ganja cultivators, and political parties like communists wants tribals to stay there to amash wealth under the disguise of tribal act or forest act. In fact these acts were enacted to benefit such people with the tacit support from vested NGO groups who receive benefits from them.
In a multipurpose project like Polavaram it is not simply one to one like the author saying: one displaced equal to 2.02 ha of irrigated area. It is a false and fraud logic like cow is white and wall is white, so wall is cow. In polavaram the power component, river linking are major components over simply irrigated area cited under Polavaram. Drinking water supply is another major component. Without Polavaram, the water beyond Polavaram site simply goes in to sea as waste water.

The latest report says in Andhra Pradesh forest area was reduced by 13,000 sq. km. in the past two years due to fire and clearance. The forest area cleared in Khammam district is the highest. I appeal Sunita Narain to stop campaign against projects of Andhra Pradesh!!!

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

6 May 2011
Posted by
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Comments/observations on “reply to my comments” on cover story published in Down To Earth May 15, 2011 with a title “Polavaram fraud” by Richard Mahapatra titled “Why Polavaram is a pointless project”

By Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Formerly Chief Technical Advisor – WMO/UN & Expert – FAO/UN
Convenor, Forum for a Sustainable Environment

“It is not the Polavaram pointless project but it is the Down To Earth”

The authors state that the Polavaram dam involves a huge cost but its benefits will be limited. The reality is in India the Polavaram project is the only project that is cost effective over any other project built so far. While analyzing the cost effectiveness of a project like a multipurpose Polavaram project all components must be taken in to account. For example when we making EIA assessment we must not confine to primary impacts but must take in to account direct & indirect secondary and tertiary impacts – cumulative & interactive impacts. It is clear from the main article that they didn’t do this and made statements from the air.
All those persons the authors referred in their write ups are either from anti-dam groups or from anti-polavaram dam groups. Before publishing such an article of this nature, they should have got clarifications or comments of the group on the other side to get credibility to a magazine like Down To Earth. Reality is that the authors did not make any attempt in this direction. That means the purpose of the article is to create hurdles to Polavaram project only. Now they added some more half baked headings. Let us see heading by heading:

400,000 may be displaced

Two days back the Supreme Court observations on the counting of displaced families are relevant here. In any project while counting the displaced at the time of paying R & R packages, the R & R package takes in to account the increase in population with the time. But, this will not take in to account the new families created for the purpose of R & R package or new families brought in by vested groups for getting R & R package etc. The authors are advised to look in to such issues before pronouncing the judgments on population figures based on a vested interest groups surveys.

Who will fund Polavaram dam?

It is the government’s prerogative to complete the project. Is it relevant to you Sir to poke your nose on the financial issue?

More water for irrigated areas

This type of propaganda was countered by the government at several forums. Silting will be a problem with each and every project, whether it is small or medium or big; but the way Polavaram dam is going to be built has a minimal effect of silting, see the project details.

Design plays down flood threat

First of all the project was never been a barrage. The technical committee analyzed for extreme value and found 38 lakh cusecs as the expected extreme flood level in 1000 years [36.2 for 500 years]. After 2009 Krishna floods – man made – CWC suggested a figure of 50 lakh cusecs for the building of dam without changing the height – only gates that allow outflow will be increased without increasing the flood area or displaced/submerged. Because of this the cost of the project has gone up. As suggested by Western analysts 92 lakh cusecs possibility, if it really occurs then whether there is a dam or not the villages in the catchment area as well villages in the downstream will be washed away. It is an imaginative projection to create hurdles to the project. If the authors believed them then wait for dooms day.

Unsafe embankments

Please look in to the appropriate documents submitted by AP government and the CWC clearance report on Embankments without making statements from the air.

Polavaram Dam Divides Politicians

For that matter any project in India divides politicians based on their vested interests leave alone Polavaram. Politicians are always there to oppose any project proposed by ruling party but when they come back to power the issue reverses. In the case of Polavaram project, some have illegal mining interests; some others have smuggling of forest wealth or ganja cultivation interests; some others have vote bank interests, etc. These are normal issues. Unfortunately the people who are enjoying the fruits of other projects like Srisailem, Nagarjunasagar never thought of displaced people from those projects.

The authors state the project does not benefit the Telangana region any way – this is an ignorant way of writing articles without looking into the project document in its totality. The authors also state that “Telangana has 50% of the State’s potential cultivable area, but only 32% of the irrigation potential created in Andhra Pradesh is in Telangana”. It is a foolish statement. Before making such parochial statements they should have verified from the records. See the table given below:

Data of 2007-08 in lakh hectares

Zone Area in lakh hectares
Geographical Net sown Net irrigated Gross irrigated
AP 275.05 107.56 44.54 60.71
Tel 114.84 (41.7%) 40.57 (37.7%) 17.08 (38.3%) 24.14 (39.8%)
Ray 067.30 (24.5%) 27.65 (25.7%) 05.66 (12.7%) 06.85 (11.3%)
CA 092.91 (33.8%) 39.34 (36.6%) 21.80 (48.9%) 29.72 (48.9%)
AP = Andhra Pradesh; Tel = Telangana; Ray = Rayalaseema; CA = Coastal Andhra

From this table it is clear that the authors have tried to manipulate the data to show regional feeling. Krishna water was fully utilized as allocated but it is not the case with Godavari water even with P. V. Narasimha Rao the only Prime Minister from South India for a full five year term hailing from Telangana zone did little in the utilization of Godavari water. Only after Dr. Y. S. Rajashekara Reddy became the Chief Minister in 2004 initiated the projects on Godavari River under the Jalayagnam. Vested groups started creating hurdles at every stage. It is a political game as once these projects are completed the people rarely care for politicians as they will be economically stable. Pranahita-Chevella project is yet to get several clearances from the central government before going for national status. The anti-polavaram groups are hatching a plan by saying first national status should be given to Pranahita-Chevella before Polavaram which has already got all clearances from the central government. Why no politician has tried for this project before Dr. YSR?

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

14 May 2011
Posted by
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

The Polavaram project is needed but not in its present design which poses a much graver danger to the Godavari delta. In fact there would have been no problems if Ysr had listened and taken sane advice to minimize submersion. But because of his megolomaniacal ego, he went ahead and started construction of the canals at 135'FSL instead of the 110' FSL suggested by the CWC. If he had followed that, by this time half of the project would have been finished. He wanted to make money and a high dam would have meant making thousands of crores continuously.

The basic fact for the delay in the Polavaram project and why no one took it up before was that it is an unsafe project with no rock foundation. K.L.Rao garu himself said that the rockfill dam would not stand the 1953 flood that was smaller than the 1986 flood.There was also a problem with money and there was sufficient water in the Krishna until Maharashtra and Karnataka built many illegal projects which the AP govt. ignored. Ysr was so desperate to make money via irrigation projects that he forgoed the state's rights to Krishna water just to keep the projects going on.As a result AP lost heavily in the new Krishna Tribunal.

Forget the 49 lakh cusecs the CWC has proposed, the present design cannot even withstand the 36 lakh cusecs observed in 1986. The flood levels observed in 1986 are higher than the backwater levels predicted by the AP govt.

Regarding embankments, no where have embankments worked in AP including Alampur, Kurnool in the recent floods and Mancherial and Bhadrachalam where they have increased the duration of flooding by not letting water go into the river quickly.

It is totally justified to go into the financial angle as it is totally rightful to try to decrease the cost of the project and not increase it like in AP where the state is in a total mess due to the jalayagnam. Due to no money for roads there are converting them into private public partnerships and will loot the public. Next will be water.

The Pranahita Chevella project is an unviable project and the 960 MW of Polavaram will not be able to provide power for it as 960 MW will come only in the floods.

Y. Babblloo

26 May 2011
Posted by
Babblloo

The entire writeup of Babblloo is to one way or other blame Dr. YSR without knowing or understanding of the in and outs of the project. Let me put it this in black and white:

-- No body constructed embarkments along the river bank in Kurnool when 2009 floods have devastated Kurnool town. Dr. YSR proposed and allocated funds to construct embarkments but they were not constructed. At the Saibaba temple there is sharp and deep cut in to the river. To protect the pilgrims from falling into it, the temple management constructed a normal wall like our compound walls. This I also explained on TV direct discussion at flood day in 2009. So some body made false statements, everybody repeats them. You also done the same!

-- The design was not proposed by Dr. YSR but it was done of Andhra Pradesh Engineers. They made it according to the needs and to make the project cost effective. That is why it is called multipurpose project.

-- Cost of the project goes up, when the project is delayed. Here the vested groups play vital role. In the case of Normada project due to NBA the cost escalated by around 100 times. In the present case, after the 2009 floods in Krishna, which were man made, the CWC advised change the design without changing the height to meet the floods from 38 lakh cusecs to 50 lakh cusecs. This automatically increase the cost. All these are not created by Dr. YSR. Why not you people look at what is the work done so far and how much is paid towards that and show much was misused. Loose talk make no sense.

-- in the case of Krishna Tribunal (1) as per the Bachawat AP was permitted to use surplus water in surplus years. For utilizing this water NTR put foundation stones but did not attempted to construct them. During NCN again on the same put foundation stones but did not undertake building them. D. YSR under Jalayagnam initiated the construction of these projects and vested groups created hurdles in the progress of the projects as they felt once these projects are completed people will become economically stable and they vote for whom they like. The Bregas Kurmar Tribunal manipulated every thing. By selected higher rainfall period they increased the mean by 185 TMC over Bachawat. They used 65% instead of internationally used 75% for dependable level. The Bachawat tribunal allowed AP to use surplus water during surplus years and made AP to use less water during deficit years. But Brijesh Kumar tribunal distributed surplus water to all the three states and made AP to get less in deficit years. These are not created by Dr. YSR but people with anti-AP made it.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

29 May 2011
Posted by
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

The issues on Polavaram dam project are made controversial by Dr.S.Jeevananda Reddy who is finding fault with an environmental magazine of International repute edited by an international expert Ms.Sunita Narayan who was long associated with eminent environmentalist like Anil Agarwal. The reply by the young and dynamic American educated environmentalist Mr.Babloo who has written critical articles on polavaram dam years ago has published in the magazine dams, Rivers and people edited by Himamshu Thakkar who is a water management specialist. Dr.Jeevananda Reddy is questiojing why the Ministryof Environment cleared the Polavaram dam project if the environmental impact assessment is defective. In the Union Ministry the 2G scam has brought out how corrupt the Union Ministers can be in giving sanctions to get large scale bribes and the Ministers in 2G scam was also involved in the grant of Polavaram Environmental clearance and hence one can surely expect that the clearance is based on illegal and unscientific reports. For instance the environmental appraisal committee members being experts in the field have an ethical and moral responsibiity to put questions whether the project report has been placed before the people of Orissa and Chattisgarh and their governemnts for securing their aproval since this is an interstate project. The experts should have asked the project proponents if the conditions of Bachawat tribunal have been properly fulfilled and if so what are the agreements that have been entered into by orissa,
Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh for securing the approval of upper states for allowing submersion of more areas due to Polavaram project since AP state asked Bachawat tribunal to permit submersion of lands upto 175ft. above mean sea levelin Motu and Konta taluks. Thye should have also asked if the upper states have not agreed for taking compensation money for submersion whether AP state has prepared scheme for embankment projects to avoid submersion in the upper states and if so what are the environmental impact assessment reports prepared in that regard and whether they have been made part of the main EIA report for the Polavaram dam project. If without raising these fundamental questions the environemntal appraisal committee members have blindly given clearance for the polavaram project how could the environmentalists like Dr.S.Jeevananada Reddy keep silent without raising these critical environmental issues of life and death to thousands of tribals whose right to life and right to livelihood will have to be given up for improving the quality of life of people living in more developed villages towns and cities in the coastal belts and other parts of the state. By the time the Union Ministry of water resources was getting ready to give technical clearance for the project why did not the expert committee members find out if the project is going to provide water for irrigating 7.2 lakh acres of land under the left and right canals while several other irrigation projects were taken up subsequently to provide irrigation for the same land under lift irrigation schemes, bore wells and villge tanks and under those circumstances whether the cost benefit ratio has been correctly worked out based upon the actual field conditions in the Polavaram command area . It is commonsense that if irrigation project have to be undertaken for the benefit of the local farmers the state and the nation the benefit a=must be atleast morethan the cost of the project. but in the present case the cost of the proejct will be morethan double the economic returns likely to be achieved by the project and consequently such an uneconomical project cannot be considered to be feasible and viable and the planning commission is bound to reject it after close scrutiny of all the relevant parameters that govern the safe design water availability, economics of power generation, risk analysis, dam break analysis and disaster management feasibility and more important whether alte4rnative schemes have been studied in depth before proposing such a highly expensive project like the polavaram dam. It is surprising that when Bachawat tribunal agreed for the project under certain conditions the chief concern was about the spillway design for a peak flood of 36 lakh cusecs. But this peak flood was highly under estimated as per the existing guidelines of the central water commission which insisted on estimating the maximum flood either as a 1000year return flood or as a probable maximum flood. Only in 2006 the central water commission realised that it has committed grave blunder in accepting a wrong design factor for peak flood and revised it from 36 lakh cusecs to 50 lakh cusecs and yet the central water commission chose to be utterly blind to the fact that it has a basic duty to get a revised dam break analysis by upgrading the peak floodfrom 36 lakh cusecs to 50 lakh cusecs even at a time when the technical advisory committee was meeting to accord clearance to the project. Neither the Ministry of Environment nor the central water commission have showed any concern based upon environmental ethics and social responsibility to clear a project that will be intune with the UN slogan of development without destruction. The National Institute of Hydrology which conducted the dam break analysis in June 1999 clearly mentioned in their elaborate dam break analsysis report that the inflow design flood was estimated at 54 lakh cusecs for a spillway design flood of 36 lakh cusecs and naturally if the environmental appraisal committee members had any commonsense they shoudl have examined this report in depth to realise that polavaram dam should be stopped because the Union Government experts in hydrology at Roorkee estimated that the inflow design flood for polavaram dam is 54 lakh cusecs and that this flood cannot be accommodated either by the reservoir proposed for the dam or by the Godavari river regime within its banks which are designed to withstand only 30 to 35 lakh cuses and consequently they very concept of making polavaram project a dam at polavaram is unscientific andhazardous and environmentally disastrous for the region. Hence intellectuals all over the country must realise that if Polavaram dam is executed by violating all the environemntal rules and regulations and if it were to burst the economic damage will have to be born by all the people in the states of India who are not given the information that the Government of India is planning the dam is a prescription of the biggest national disaster.If the editors and readersof Down to Earth cannot come to the risky of the people of this country we need not blame only the politicians and the bureaucrats but also the educated people who support environmental hazards to the detriment of the health and welfare of the people of this coutntry and there by promote ecologically destructive projects in the name of sustainable development.

20 June 2011
Posted by
Mrs.P.Subhashini

@ Ms. Subhashini:

Yes, I really admire your comments “how could the environmentalists like … keep silent without raising these critical environmental issues of life and death to thousands of tribals whose right to life and right to livelihood will have to be given up for improving the quality of life of people living in more developed villages towns and cities in the coastal belts and other parts of the state.”
Let me share my view on the same, :

1: Money should not be spent for the benefit of few/ group at the cost of thousands of tribal people. 1st they are not modernly civilized to move migrate for the technological advancements leaving their home/ land which they worship a mother/ God. We really should not develop the cities, etc at the cost of other group’s civilization/ culture which comes for them with the place of occupation.
2: The water benefited areas with the project are already having enough of water sources/ facilities. The benefited land(95%) as is already having enough of water there is no point in taking the advantage of water supply for irrigation with this project.
3: Still if the water supply for the land irrigation is taken into account then it would be clear understanding which has to be taken for granted that the power required for the bore wells is the only saved factor here,
4: All the regions getting benefited with the water supply are already having good levels of ground water as per the Central Ground water regulator authority,
5: As already know the forest covering the project area is a large home for variety of species and is a tourism hub for the badrachalam forests which is having a time old importance since the epical story of Rama’s Vanavas in the Badrachalam forest,
6: Now comes the factor of economy, hope the forest and tourism’s income will also add up to the economy even when there is a recession. With this project large forest land is going to be converted thus we will then have to relocate the animals to other forests else the animals would start moving into the villages thus hunting.
7: Why now in having large amounts of currency being spent for the project thus for just the power, when India now can be considered as one of the largest country with Uranium reserves, thus going to be the country self-sufficient with power. We may not be able to store the Uranium reserves for future but will definitely be able to harvest the Polavaram’s energy or advantages if really are very much essential at later point of time.
8: There are many regions of Rayalaseema, and telangana which do not even have drinking water sources round the calendar. When we have some bigger problem to concentrate on like drinking water problems, etc why just concentrating money for benefit of few regions which is already self-sufficient.
9: If we just talk about the 5% land which is going to come under the cultivation benefit then we also need to consider that we are going to affect the now cultivating lands in the regions of Badrachalam, Orrisa, and Chattisgarh, then what is the point in making our home by making someone homeless.
10: You may also say that if this project comes live then we can definitely rely on the food production of this region for the country even when it is total drought for the country, but as India is with such good geographical features which makes one place totally independent of the others, lets then concentrate these funds on someother place which much move getting effected by drought lands thus we can have more land under cultivation.
11: I really do not understand why do we need to concentrate on the regions which has abundant water sources for 3 crops for sure a year, rather on the other side when we have many regions of Rayalaseema and Telangana where we couldn’t even guarantee the water availability atleast for 1 crop a year.
12: We can observe that in the year 2011, CM has requested center to permit the export of 30 Lakh tonne of rice. If really the people of this region are not the only to be provided the advantages then we should ban all the rice produced from this region to be exported and this privilege has to be provided only to the rest of the country farmers for just the rice export. This is for providing equality to farmers of all the regions, else they also will request for all such projects even when they also have abundant water sources.
13: In total around 50 lakh people are either directly or indirectly going to be effected in the negative shade with the project, as either they are relocated, or are to fear the point of having floods which would intern effect the neighboring states.
14:Finally I think we have got to have more of food storage capacity rather than just producing and exporting, else either floods or poor storage facilities will damage the now produced crop as happening nowadays.
15: Thus there are many other projects or points to be concentrated on, by the governments both central and state, for the common good of the people.

@ Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy:

Please do not conclude your view’s with high heat which will make others fear in sharing their views.

I just have come across the article and shared my view. There is nothing personal, and you need not explain me the same why/ how, as I may or may not come to view this article again.

15 October 2014
Posted by
uttej

I am not an Irrigation expert and I have no specific comments on this project.
Andhra Pradesh is a surplus state in foodgrains and even the CM has requested Centre to permit the State to export 30 lakhs tonnes of rice last year.Also the prices of foodgrains are not that remunerative and a few hundred ryots are committing every year.These two problems can be partially solved by creating adequate godown space .A few thousand crore rupees say about Rs 4000 crores will enable AP to create additional storage space for about an additional 100 lakhs of foodgrains and this helps in even distribution of foodgrains during the times of draught or surplus rains.
As far as this project is concerned it adds to the misery of of Andhras and is not of much use.Please donot mistake me as I am purely talking about financial implications .The interest on Capital,operation, repair and maintenance of storage and distrbution systems including power cost for these systems will be more than Rs 2500 crores per year and the gross value value of output will be less than Rs 2000 crores.So who gains from the Project?
Please dont write off my comments as inhuman.To day AP is incurring about Rs 8000 crore extra as interest
over the interest paid in year 2003-2004.All of this is due to Jalayagnam Projects only as AP is a Revenue surplus State.While the CM and Others declare that 22 lakh acres has been brought into cultivation,it is only in their imaginatin.The AP Govt published records show about 5 lakh acres under gross acerage(the net acerage which represents land added is much smaller).In fact the gross acerage under Well cultivation has gone up by 12/13 lakh acres and substantial effort for this has been put up by farmers themselves.
In fact this whole Jalayagnam is only a Dhana yagnam
and not DHanya Yagnam.The entire 2000 tmc of water impuonded several decades ago is irrigating hardly 50 to 60 lakh acres.So one crore acres additional irrigation is only a myth and several millions of white paper will be blackened to explain the same.

27 June 2012
Posted by
K Varadarajan

Mr Varadarajan I am also not technical expert. but i will ask few questions.
you suggested to increase the godown space. you don't know that building godown space for food grains should be sanctioned by center.
and ap is already building its space what center permitted to full. and requested center to allot more.
what is wrong in exporting food grains. it will yield more income for the state as well as to the former. like any industry. what is wrong if former gets a better price.
This project is not much use.
take situation now itself. godavri is almost dry at sriram sagar, krishna has hardly any water.
krishna delta formers are doing dharnas for water. but the godavari lower basin has floods and lakhs of cusecs of water went to sea.
if polavaram is there at least that flood water can be moved to krishna delta and also produces electricity for a state which has highest deficit in electricity in india.
and about the dhana yagnam. can you tell me
one project in india where there is no politician benefited.
the project idea is simple. transfer surplus water in godavari to krishna,
water of krishna give water to areas like telangana and rayalaseema for drinking and cultivation.
rayalaseema is most driest place after thar desert. they badly needs drinking water.
if you feel that these type of projects are not needed ask tamilnadu govt to give drinking water
that it is getting from krishna basin to them
last but not least. i am not a engineer or technical guy for this projects.
But this project is proposed by Sir great cotton and KL rao ( who proposed union of rivers in india for first time with design)
both are great engineers of their time.
when cotton proposed barrage at dhavaleswaram. lot people like you objected it. he literally argued with British govt and started. even he spent his own money. but see what happens after construction,
it literally changed the poor godavari dists to one of the richest.many places in godavari dists has his statues.
if a guy of such caliber proposed some projects guys like you me should follow it. should not question. we can't see 10% of their vision

26 August 2012
Posted by
Air

Namaskar,

It is with reference to Mrs. P. Subhashini’s observations on my comments:

1. Most of the comments raised by her were clarified in my replies to main article --. However, let me clarify her comments one by one.

2. IPCC in climate change reports said the same – my reports were approved by several scientific institutions and majority of scientists – saying number as the basis but later they withdrew their conclusions and so also Al Gore withdrew his conclusion. But neither IPCC nor Al Gore returned their noble prize for which they got. So science and technology issues are not defined on the basis of reputation of magazine or reputation of scientists or reputation of institution but it relates to the quality of report by an author – very recently a noble prize winner withdrew a paper published in a reputed journal. There are groups working for World Bank against big dams. Himanshu Thakkar is also one among them. In 1994 I wrote a letter to the Editor-in-chief of a reputed International Journal criticizing how the editorial committee members were manipulating to publish their friends articles and rejected other meritorious articles that may counter their philosophy. The editor-in-chief accepted my point of view and sent my letter to three regional editors’ one in USA, one in UK and another in Australia. Finally they also concurred with me and without affecting the credibility of the Journal they published my letter under three parts. This is the way of life.

3. Polavaram project was planned by a bunch of international reputed engineers in around 1941 and by 1945 finalized the report. MoEF cleared the Polavaram Dam as per the EIA Notification, 1994 and the same MoEF is now creating problems under EIA Notification, 2006. Please read these two notifications. Because of this confusion, appellate authority [NEAA] rejected the EC of MoEF with biased mind but High Court stayed this order based on EIA Notification under which EC was granted by MoEF. Now this project has all technical clearances except political obstacles.

4. Madhya Pradesh and Orissa Governments signed MoU with AP Government accepting the displacement under dam height of 150 ft. Bachawat tribunal approved 150 ft and also cleared interlinking of rivers by shifting 80 TMC from Godavari to Krishna through Polavaram project in 1978 itself. At the same time Karakattas were proposed in place of rehabilitation – CWC cleared the construction of Karakattas in 2009 itself & the project got assistance under accelerated irrigation benefits programme (AIBP), then where is the need for public hearing but it has to be cleared by those two states as per MoU of 1978. Because of this public hearings were conducted in AP in 2005 at five locations. When Finance Minister informed that national status to Polavaram will not be granted in 11th five year plan as no money allocations were made. Within two days Environment Minister raised the bogie of public hearing in other two states to delay the project – for karakattas no public hearing is required. And CWC increased 38 to 50 lakh cusecs. But yet, government of AP wrote a letter to the two governments to conduct the public hearing. There was no response from those two governments. Under this scenario, under EIA Notification, 2006 MoEF regional office in Bangalore must conduct the public hearing after 45 days. But, this was not carried out and the present Environment minister Jayanti Natarajan raised the same bogie. This is a political game – all these in fact I brought to the notice of Prime Minister. When karakatta’s are planned why public hearing at all? Government of AP allocated 600 crores for the construction of Karakattas which were cleared by CWC in 2009. On the case in Supreme Court filed by the two states on 150 ft, the court appointed a committee to look in to the issue of “whether AP violated Bachawat tribunal award on Polavaram with reference to 150 ft or not”, the committee reported back saying AP government hasn’t violated Bachawat order – so 175 ft is irrelevant story.

5. Rehabilitation & resettlements – AP government proposed best R & R package – in fact during Pulichintala project CFE meeting in APPCB as a member, I proposed land for land, which was agreed and later it was also included under R & R package of Polavaram – which was appreciated by Prime Minister saying that we include these for national R & R packages. When the government announced these, the expected displaced people accepted to move out but at that time CPM, illegal mining groups and smuggler groups and their NGOs tried to stop them forcibly but they moved away for resettlement areas. Whether there is a dam or not whenever there are floods in river Godavari around 350 villages will be affected. Displacement is common issue in dams – under Srisailem project 22,000 families were displaced in 1976, under Nagarjunasagar project 6,000 families were affected along with Budha shrines of historical value, etc. Under polavaram around 50% are tribals but under Normada they are around 60% and under Karban dam they are 100%. People are now enjoying the fruits of these projects!!! Forest area submergence – government has agreed to reforest as per MoEF and deposited the money. Here let me give an example – CPM groups butchered forest trees in 6000 acres in front of TV live show; due to Naxals people from Chattisghad and Orissa moved in to AP and butchered hundreds of acres of forest land and settled there and now people are asking to include such people under R & R. Here vote bank politics play vital role. Have a broader look and not go by narrow look.

6. Area to be irrigated -- already these were cleared by irrigation department on several occasions. If we look at cost benefit, in India, the best project is Polavaram. Is green revolution technology based agriculture is cost affective? The answer is big “NO”. The middlemen are beneficiaries of this technology but yet government is spending lakhs of crores every year on subsidies and loans. This is the worst technology in terms of environment – unsustainable technology. These benefits are at present garnered by around 40% of farm land and the rest is depending upon the mercy of rain god.

7. The extreme value analysis indicated 36.2 lakh cusecs in 500 years and 38.0 lakh cusecs in 1000 years. In fact the planning commission has cleared the project long before on this. But, as planned by central government to delay the project – as I said above – CWC changed 38 lakh cusecs to 50 lakh cusecs with a figure that they have got from the air. Accordingly asked the government to re-design the dam without affecting displaced or water storage capacity at 150 ft. Then the entire process was repeated and submitted to Planning Commission for clearance for financial closure and on the basis of the revised estimates the bids were called for. In the central government most of the important ministries are in the hands of anti-Andhra group. So they create problems every now and then. You have seen recently they gave national status to two UP projects which are not cleared yet but Polavaram was put under wraps. Somebody said that it is not 50 lakh cusecs but it is 92 lakh cusecs. If this is true, whether there is a dam or not villages, towns, cities all along will be wiped out.

8. Some people are raising the question, how is it possible to build a dam with 50 lakh cusecs will not increase the submergence area? It is simple; the revised dam plan provides the answer by accounting per second discharge instead of 38 lakh cusecs to 50 lakhs cusecs without increasing the height of water in the dam – increased gates mechanism.

9. Somebody working for World Bank sponsored watershed programmes – working against dams – proposed three barrages instead of dam without understanding the basics of the weather and rainfall in space and time over the three rivers. Today I saw a report in Telugu media another MP propagating 8 barrages. Godavari River thousands of TMC is going in to sea though we have got one barrage – Dawaleswaram. Three barrages are built on three sub-rivers and thus the water flow in to these barrages depends upon the rainfall in the respective catchments. If one catchment receives less and another more, there is no way to adjust it but under Dam this happens and thus power production goes un-hindered which is not the case under barrages. This is like a proverb if five fingers are united they are strong and if they are separated they are weak. So, please don’t make comments without knowing the subject matter fully well but politics of several kinds play games in India more particularly in Andhra Pradesh. People were telling stories against Pulichintala just because some are minting hundreds of crores through sandstone mining illegally that is used in cement industry. Same types are there under Polavaram. I think you are not bothered on such issues!!!

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

31 August 2012
Posted by
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

The benefits of Polavaram project like irrgation of 7
lakh acres of land by gravity canals,12 lakh acres of
land by lift irrigation,generation of 960MW of power,
diversion of Godavari waters in to Krishna river,
stabilization of Godavari delta ayacut suffering by the lift irrigation projects of Telangana and diversion of waters to the industries in Vizag are not taken in to consideration in the above article. Only the issue of submersion by construction of Polavaram project is highlighted.All these benefits will not be there by construction of alternative barrages instead of Polavaram project to reduce submersion.Only 2.5 lakh acres of land could be irrigated that too by lift irrigation.

16 June 2013
Posted by
m.s.murthy

It is wrong to say that vast tribal areas are going to
be submerged in Telangana but there is no benefit to
Telangana by Polavaram project. About 80 thousand acres
of land will be submerged in Khammam dt.by construction of Polavaram projet but 2 lakh acres of land is going to be irrigated by construction of Indirasagar lift irrigation project in Khammam dt.by utilizing Polavaram project back waters. 80TMC of Godavari waters could be diverted to Krishnaa out of which at least 20 TMC of water could be utilized
for Telangana projects.On the other hand vast areas
were submerged in Maharashtra state by construction of
Sriram sagar project across the river Godavari in
Telangana but not even a single acre of land could be
irrigated in Maharashtra by that project.

21 June 2013
Posted by
m.s.murthy

CWC opposed construction of alternative barrages (instead of Polavaram dam project) to reduce submersion because by constructing barrages, only running water of the river Godavari could be diverted and there will be no storage facility of water.There will be no diversion of Godavari waters in to Krishna river,no supply of water to the industries in Vizag and no supply of water to the second crop of Godavari delta.Power generation will be reduced to 200MW.So it is waste to invest money for construction of barrages by which only 2.5 lakh acres could be irrigated that too by lift irrigation.Most of the areas which are going to be submerged by construction of Polavaram project are already getting submerged every year by Godavari floods.So this is the best opportunity to
shift the people from those areas ,settle them at
safer places and give them good R&R package under
Polavaram project funds.The issue of possible dam
breakage of Polavaram project should be left to the engineering experts and non-technical people like us
should not decide it.

30 July 2013
Posted by
m.s.murthy

As I pointed out in my observations on Jalayagnam projects and more particularly, Polavaram multipurpose project that form part of interlinking of waters [Krishna and Godavari] first such thing in India that all the controversies are politically motivated. At last this becomes true with Congress Working Committee on its 30th July 2013 meeting asked the Central Government to initiate granting national status to Polavaram multipurpose project -- in fact when Dr. YSR was alive, the planning commission cleared the financial viability -- as part of package of separating Andhra Pradesh. Without knowing behind the doors strategy of government at centre, CAG made bad observations on Jalayagnam and Polavaram. Now, at least people and CAG should stop making loose statements on Jalayagnam and Polavaram!!!

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

31 July 2013
Posted by
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

I read the article as well as comments on Polavaram Project. Many a times regional pulls and benefits outweigh the technical feasibility of some projects.
Here I reproduce a comment by a learned personality:
“Dear All
WaterWatch, June 1, 2010

Shri Amit Bhattacharya's article and Shri Devinder Sharma's comments are both extremely valid and timely, especially in the context of Andhra Pradesh where the government has taken up a grandiose "Jala Yagna" that seems to have created more benefit for the contractors than the people at large.Jala Yagna consists of a large number of dams and canals that involve a huge cost. As a result of diversion of resources to this scheme, the allocations for the social sectors has declined sharply.

Polavaram Dam is a huge multi-purpose irrigation project that is yet to secure final environment clearance from the Ministry of Environment & Forests. However, even before the main project work has started, the government has started the work on the canal system! Most of the contractors who are working on the project have strong political connections. The government has given them large 'mobilisation advances" and it is doubtful whether the work done during the last five years is anywhere in match with those advances. Meanwhile, some of these canals have already started filling up due to disuse and non-maintenance.

Polavaram displaces one tribal family and deprives it of its Schedule V Constitutional rights for every five acres irrigated in the more affluent coastal belt. The project also displaces several villages in Orissa and Chattisgarh and those villagers had no way to protest. The cases filed by the two States are pending before the Hon'ble Supreme court and the AP government, in its anxiety to push through this contractor-driven project at any cost, has even gone to the extent of proposing a "Chinese Great Wall" type of a bund to ward off the submergence in Orissa and Chattisgarh! This has not only escalated the cost of the project but also increased the risk of a dam burst if it ever happens. Experts have cautioned the State that, in the event of a dam burst, there will be enormous downstream damage but the State is impervious to such sane advice.

It is a known fact that the proportion of the land irrigated, in comparison with the potential promised when an irrigation project of this kind is proposed, is quite low. It is against this background that the Union Irrigation Ministry had originally created the so-called "command area development" programme for which there are no takers. The rate of siltation in most projects is much higher than the rate assumed originally when the irrigation officials try to justify its need and push up its viability ratios. In most projects, there is heavy water logging upstream and water deficiency for downstream beneficiaries. Water logging has an adverse impact on the salinity and other characteristics of the upstream lands. Without ground water, the canal system becomes unviable, as the canals need to be closed down for a month or so for maintenance.

Even canal maintenance is highly inadequate in most States, as pointed out by Shri Amit Bhattacharya. In AP, it is strange that the government should spend thousands of crores of rupees on new projects when almost all its canals remain ill-maintained. In the absence of maintenance, it is commonplace to find that canal bunds burst during the rainy season and the water flows are hampered.

There are many cost-effective micro-solutions to our water problems but they are overtaken by the States going in for large projects in which the investments made yield much lower returns. In States like AP, every year, hundreds of water bodies, many of which are natural, are getting destroyed to give way to urban growth and ill-conceived industrial projects.

I write this letter with anguish because in Visakhapatnam where I reside, the capacity of the local reservoirs has shrunk by 40% due to silting and encroachments while the government is planning to get water from the far off Polavaram project. that is yet to be approved. Even assuming that Polavaram water is available, which is doubtful, the local authorities have already committed water at subsidised rates to several industrial ventures far in excess of what is available. All such industrial units have the blessings of the Union Ministry of Environment!! You cannot say that a new industrial project is environmentally acceptable when it eats into the drinking water supplies to the people! We have brought this to the notice of that Ministry umpteen times without any response whatsoever.

Both the Union government and the States are insensitive to this. In fact, to appease AP politically, the Central government is even considering declaring Polavaram as a "national" project, which implies that the Indian tax payer, not the AP tax payer alone, will be burdened with the infructuous expenditure on this project.

India's water situation is going to become perilous in the coming two decades. We are yet to come up with a sustainable water policy. We are fortunate that the , for reason extraneous,is going somewhat slow on the River Linking scheme, though Polavaram, in a way, is also a part of that scheme.

There cannot be a national water policy without adequate recognition of the right of the local communities to the local resources including water. There cannot be a water policy that does not respect the local communities and involves them in any decision making that affects their lives. Most of our water issues will find ready solutions if we adopt such a democratically eminent approach.

I appeal to the civil society to start a national debate on the lines indicated by Shri Amit Bhattacharya and Shri Devinder Sharma. The people of this country should be aware of what is happening.

E.A.S.Sarma

Former Secretary to GOI”
(Ground Reality,June 4,2010)
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

1 August 2013
Posted by
Dr.A.Jagadeesh

I doubt the author really understod irrigation projects in general and Polavram in specific except opposing big dams under the dsguise of World Bank.

Before making such observations they must study the irrigation projects in general and Polavaram in specific in terms of their need and broader use.

Has the writer got data on how much money was spent on Polavaram Project, How much it costs on real terms on what ever construction activities were completed and how much is mis-used? If he has that data then we can discuss the issue. Every body, without facts and figures, makes statements from air to attract like politicians, is bad for the country in general and state in specific. The vision of Late Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India [who considered dams as modern temples] we reached to self sufficient in food grains -- even in excess. Our rulers took the advantage and completed Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar, Jurala, Sriramsagar, etc. projects and made Andhra Pradesh rice bowl of India.

Secondly, tribals in fact were happy to move out instead of suffering every year when ever there are severe floods in River Godavari. Tribals moved away, even when NGOs and vote bank politicians tried to stop them to rehabilitation centres.

Building Karakattas is not new -- it was started during British time. If these two states does not want Karakattas let them ask for money for rehabilitation costs instead of harping on no Polavaram. Around 1980s the Karakatta proposal was introduced.

If the tank in Visakhapatman is encroached and silted then you don't want Polavaram water to fill it. It is not a new invention. Even in Hyderabad same is happening and getting water from Krishna & Godavari. Even the biggest tank in the country "Cumbum Cheruvu" on River Gundlakamma River is filled with silt. Just because people are encroaching or silting, can we say no Dams??

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Formerly Chief Technical Advisor - WMO/UN & Expert - FAO/UN

2 August 2013
Posted by
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

There is a factual error in the following statement mentioned in the report:

"The project does not benefit the Telengana region in any way; on the other hand it will submerge villages in Khammam district"

All the villages that would be submerged due to the project are under Bhadrachalam division of Khammam district. Bhadrachalam division was part of East Godavari district in Coastal Andhra until 1958. It was split from East Godavari district and added to the newly formed Khammam district in 1958.

The definition of Telangana as commonly accepted includes only the Telugu speaking areas of the erstwhile Hyderabad State as on Oct 31, 1956 before the merger with Andhra State.

In the case of a division of the state, Bhadrachalam division would be transferred back to Coastal Andhra.
The idea of Telangana as demanded by the separatists is purely based on the 1956 borders.

To summarize, not an acre of land in Telangana would be submerged due to the proposed dam. The entire submerged area would fall under Coastal Andhra.

It has now become fashionable to blame Coastal Andhra people for every ill. Goebbels and other Nazis followed the principle of spreading blatant lies. In the last decade, similar technique is used to spread hatred against Coastal Andhra - by repeating lies strongly, blatantly and consistently.

It is a blatant lie to state that Telangana would lose land due to this project.

14 August 2013
Posted by
A Kumar

polavaram is a boon not only to Andhra Pradesh but also to entire India in terms of food security.
Only the delaying of this project for vested interests by politicians so far has escalated the costs of this project.
I don't understand why people object this tail end reserviour on Godavari river which doesn't harm anyone. Also considering water is the lifeline of humans and a scarce resource, what does the people objecting this project gain if river water is wasted by simply going in to sea.

14 October 2013
Posted by
Srinivas

Many times it is mentioned in percentages that Telengana region is underdeveloped. When you consider percentages, you should have the denominator at same value. Then real truth will come-out. Another mischief of these percentage calculators is to combine Rayala Seema with Costal Andhra and then compare the figures. That is why all the percentages look bad for Telengana. Ignoring NTR TDP rule of 15 years, it is about same time that the region people were CMs. What they do is they Do NOT consider Jalagam Vengala Rao from Khammam as a Telenganite. But they want Khammam in Telengana. Khammam due to its nearness in upper reaches to Srikakulam, it is More Andhra than Telengana. Culturally Khammam is mostly Andhra and less of Telengana.

18 October 2013
Posted by
pangl kaprala

During the recent election campaign in A.P.state,our new prime minister Sri Narendra Modi announced that
linking the rivers of the country would be taken up to
divert the surplus waters from the rivers of North
India to the water scarcity areas of South India.So
now it became inevitable to construct Polavaram
project across the river Godavari which takes part
in linking the rivers of the country.So I request the
persons who are opposing the construction of Polavaram
project not to do so in the interest of the Nation.
Instead of it,they can ask for better R&R package for the people who going to be affected by this project.

16 May 2014
Posted by
m.s.murthy

There is no single project anywhere in the world that doesn't have a negative effect on some people. Lakhs of people will be displaced by this BIG project. Note BIG. In current corrupt India, the R&R will never be honest. Moreover other states, Orissa and CG are also have objections to it. The potential benefited areas of this project are already having 2 or 3 crops every year and more than 80% of the land is already under irrigation. The supporters of this project belong to certain suj-region. Instead of spending so much money, why does the govt not make a smaller project and use remaining money to develop the water-scarce region of Rayalaseema. This project is like feeding sweet to people who have 3 meals a day(Andhra region) when the other side(Rayalaseema) is not even having proper 1 meal a day.

30 May 2014
Posted by
Nath

पोलावरम् परियोजना का फिर से आकलन करके सुधार किया जाना आवश्यक है ताकि कम से कम स्थान में अधिक जल संग्रह हो सके अधिक गहराई की झील बनाई जा सके और कम से कम लोगों को प्रतिस्थापित करना पड़े। इससे निकलनेवाली नहरों को जल की कमी वाले क्षेत्रों की ओर मोड़ना चाहिए।

4 June 2014
Posted by
हरिराम

Our prime minister Sri Narendra Modi announced that plenty of water would be provided to Rayalaseema region by linking the rivers of the country.Polavaram project with present design only can take part in linking the rivers of the country as it has to receive and transfer large quantities of water coming from North Indian rivers.So Polavaram project should be viewed as a project of National importance.

6 July 2014
Posted by
m.s.murthy

Polavaram project is a boon to backward Uttarandhra region.1.5 lakh acres of land is going to be irrigated by gravity canals in Vizag district by this project. 25 TMC of water could be supplied to the industries in Vizag.There is a proposal to divert 60 TMC of Godavari waters from Polavaram project left canal near Tallapalem village in Vizag district and to construct Uttarandhra sujala sravanthi lift irrigation project
to irrigate 8 lakh acres of land in Uttarandhra region
which is possible by construction of Polavaram project
with present design only.

6 July 2014
Posted by
m.s.rani

When the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh has met the chief minister of chattishgarh and requested for his co- operation to complete the polavaram dam. Then ramanasingh, (c.m. of chattishgarh) is reported to have told him that a case on this dam is pending before the supreme court and hence he cannot speak on the subject. That means there is scope for abnormal delay, and so the cost of the project may go to, Rs.30,000, crores and above, making the project economically unviable. In order to good to the people the problem must be settled out of court by arriving at a mutually agreeable settlement among the concerned states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chattishgarh, and central Government. At pre4sent most part is are demanding for building a barrages project in place of the big killer dam on the plee that barrages will not submerge any developed lands and forests in the upper states, and also make the displacements of tribals at a minimum level. In fact Andhra Pradesh state proposed in 1970 for a barrage at polavaram site, and it was submitted the Bachawat tribunal on 7-8- 1970 and it was marked has Ex.no. MRG- 34, APPG-5 and it was approved.Hence, the argument that the barrage is not suitable by the present day Government experts and C.W.C. is invalid and harmful to the formers and a nation . If necessary experts from other Indian states which constructed similar barrages for irrigation purposes and foreign experts may be invited for consultation for making the project feasible and practicable for immdiate implementation .. j.jagadamba. C/o prof. shivajirao.

23 September 2014
Posted by
J.JAGADAMBAC/OSHIVAJIRAO

@ Ms. Subhashini:

Yes, I really admire your comments “how could the environmentalists like … keep silent without raising these critical environmental issues of life and death to thousands of tribals whose right to life and right to livelihood will have to be given up for improving the quality of life of people living in more developed villages towns and cities in the coastal belts and other parts of the state.”
Let me share my view on the same, :

1: Money should not be spent for the benefit of few/ group at the cost of thousands of tribal people. 1st they are not modernly civilized to move migrate for the technological advancements leaving their home/ land which they worship a mother/ God. We really should not develop the cities, etc at the cost of other group’s civilization/ culture which comes for them with the place of occupation.
2: The water benefited areas with the project are already having enough of water sources/ facilities. The benefited land(95%) as is already having enough of water there is no point in taking the advantage of water supply for irrigation with this project.
3: Still if the water supply for the land irrigation is taken into account then it would be clear understanding which has to be taken for granted that the power required for the bore wells is the only saved factor here,
4: All the regions getting benefited with the water supply are already having good levels of ground water as per the Central Ground water regulator authority,
5: As already know the forest covering the project area is a large home for variety of species and is a tourism hub for the badrachalam forests which is having a time old importance since the epical story of Rama’s Vanavas in the Badrachalam forest,
6: Now comes the factor of economy, hope the forest and tourism’s income will also add up to the economy even when there is a recession. With this project large forest land is going to be converted thus we will then have to relocate the animals to other forests else the animals would start moving into the villages thus hunting.
7: Why now in having large amounts of currency being spent for the project thus for just the power, when India now can be considered as one of the largest country with Uranium reserves, thus going to be the country self-sufficient with power. We may not be able to store the Uranium reserves for future but will definitely be able to harvest the Polavaram’s energy or advantages if really are very much essential at later point of time.
8: There are many regions of Rayalaseema, and telangana which do not even have drinking water sources round the calendar. When we have some bigger problem to concentrate on like drinking water problems, etc why just concentrating money for benefit of few regions which is already self-sufficient.
9: If we just talk about the 5% land which is going to come under the cultivation benefit then we also need to consider that we are going to affect the now cultivating lands in the regions of Badrachalam, Orrisa, and Chattisgarh, then what is the point in making our home by making someone homeless.
10: You may also say that if this project comes live then we can definitely rely on the food production of this region for the country even when it is total drought for the country, but as India is with such good geographical features which makes one place totally independent of the others, lets then concentrate these funds on someother place which much move getting effected by drought lands thus we can have more land under cultivation.
11: I really do not understand why do we need to concentrate on the regions which has abundant water sources for 3 crops for sure a year, rather on the other side when we have many regions of Rayalaseema and Telangana where we couldn’t even guarantee the water availability atleast for 1 crop a year.
12: We can observe that in the year 2011, CM has requested center to permit the export of 30 Lakh tonne of rice. If really the people of this region are not the only to be provided the advantages then we should ban all the rice produced from this region to be exported and this privilege has to be provided only to the rest of the country farmers for just the rice export. This is for providing equality to farmers of all the regions, else they also will request for all such projects even when they also have abundant water sources.
13: In total around 50 lakh people are either directly or indirectly going to be effected in the negative shade with the project, as either they are relocated, or are to fear the point of having floods which would intern effect the neighboring states.
14:Finally I think we have got to have more of food storage capacity rather than just producing and exporting, else either floods or poor storage facilities will damage the now produced crop as happening nowadays.
15: Thus there are many other projects or points to be concentrated on, by the governments both central and state, for the common good of the people.

@ Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy:

Please do not conclude your view’s with high heat which will make others fear in sharing their views.

I just have come across the article and shared my view. There is nothing personal, and you need not explain me the same why/ how, as I may or may not come to view this article again.

15 October 2014
Posted by
uttej

Even though case is pending in Supreme court against
Polavaram project,the court refused to give stay to stop
the construction work of the project.So we need not worry
about escalation of construction cost due to delay.Some
people are suggesting to construct alternative barrages
in place of Polavaram project to reduce submersion.But
CWC turned down that proposal due to the following reasons.By construction of barrages only 2.5 lakh acres of land could be irrigated by lift irrigation as against 19 lakh acres of land by Polavaram project (7 lakh acres by gravity canals and 12 lakh acres by lift irrigation ie Uttara sujala sravanthi,Chintalapudi and Indira sagar lift irrrigation projects).Power generation will be reducced from 960 MW to 200 mw.There will not be diversion of Godavari waters in to Krishna river.There will be no supply of water to the industries in Vizag.There will not be stabilization of Godavari delta ayacut which is gong to
suffer by construction of huge lift irrigation projects
up stream in Telangana.

16 October 2014
Posted by
m.s.rani

In 1980 A.P.,Orissa and M.P.state govts signed agreement to
construct Polavaram project across the river Godavari to
150 feet height.Supreme court appointed expert committee to see whether A.P.government violated the agreement.The committee gave a report that A.P.government did not violate the agreement because the proposed height and storage capacity of the dam are same and only the design of the dam is changed to with stand 50 lakh cusecs of flood waters instead of original 35 lakh cusecs of flood waters.50 lakh cusecs of flood waters occurs very rarely say once in 500 years.So even though a case is pending in Supreme court against Polavaram project,the court refused to give stay to stop the construction work of the project.
Some people are arguing that out of 7 lakh acres of land proposed to be irrigated by Polavaram project,4.5
lakh acres of land is already getting irrigated by some
other means like Tatipudi and Pushkara lift irrigation
projects.So the remaining 2.5 lakh acres of the land
could be irrigated by lift irrigation by constructing
alternative barrages.But by Polavaram project 7 lakh acres
of land could be irrigated by gravity canals and 12 lakhs
acres of additional land could be irrigated by lift
irrigation(Uttarandhra sujala sravanthi,Chitalapudi and
Indira sagar lift irrigation projects).The generation of
960MW of power by Polavaram project is reduced to 200 MW
by construction of barrages.The other benefits of Polavaram project are diversion of 80 TMC of Godavari waters in to Krishna river,supply of 24 TMC of water to Vizag city and industries in Vizag and stabilization of
Godavari delta ayacut of 10 lakh acres which is going to
suffer by construction of huge lift irrigation projects
in Telangana.These benefits are not possible by construction of alternative barrages.Some people are
commenting that instead of constructing Polavaram projcet
preference should be given to construct irrigation projects in backward Rayalaseema region.But they must
understand that Uttarandhra is also equally back ward
region.More over there is no use of constructing irrigation projects in the places where water is not
available.

18 October 2014
Posted by
m.s.rani

Telugu Ganga,Galeru-Nagari,Handri-Neeva and Velugonda
projects in Rayalaseema and Kalwakurthi,Nettempadu,Bhima
and Koilsagar lift irrigation projects in Telangana are
being constructed depending up on the flood waters of the
river Krishna.So these projects are not eligible to get
National project status.Polavaram project is being constructed with allotted waters of the river Godavari. By
Polavaram project 7 lakh acres of land could be irrigated
by gravity canals.The 960 MW of power produced by Polavaram project is sufficient for the lift irrigation projects proposed under this project as they require water to be lifted below 500 feet height.On the other hand Pranahita-Chevella and Devadula lift irrigation projects which are going to irrigate 22 lakh acres of land in Telangana require water to be lifted 1500 feet height from the river Godavari and need 4000 MW of power to run these lift irrigation projects.So the government has to spend Rs 5000 crores annually for power to run these 2 lift irrigation projects.So Polavaram project is the most economical project among all the projects of Jala Yagnam.

21 October 2014
Posted by
m.s.murthy

Approximately 10 TMC of water is required to irrigate one lakh acres of land.So the water required for irrigation by Polavaram project is

1)Irrigation by gravity canals-70TMC

2)Uttarandhra sujala sravanthi lift irrigation project-60 TMC

3)Chintalapudi lift-20TMC

4)Indirasagar lift-20 TMC

5)Stabilization of Godavari delta ayacut of 10 lakh acres which is going to suffer by by construction of huge lift irrigation projects in Telangana-100TMC

6)Diversion of Godavari waters in to Krishna river-80 TMC

7)Supply of water to Vizag city-24 TMC.So the total amount of water required is 374 TMC.The storage capacity of Polavaram project is 195 TMC of water which is hardly sufficient for the above projects.The storage capacity of the 3 alternative barrages is below 30 TMC of water which is far below the storage capacity of Polavaram project.So Polavaram project can not be substituted by alternative barrages.

3 November 2014
Posted by
m.s.murthy

It is wrong to say that 3 crops are grown in Godavari delta.
The storage capacity of Dowleswaram barrage is 3.5 TMC of
water only and the barrage is able to supply water to the
first crop of Godavari delta and the delta has to depend
up on Sileru project water for second crop.After completion
of massive lift irrigation projects up stream in Telangana,
water will not be available in Godavari delta even for
first crop.In the same way Krishna delta of 13 lakh acres
will suffer by increasing the height of Almatti dam in
Karnataka if Godavari waters are not diverted in to Krishna
river.So construction of Polavaram project is necessary to
save Godavari and Krishna deltas.Other wise both deltas will
become deserts in future.

10 November 2014
Posted by
m.s.murthy

There is a proposal to divert 60 TMC of flood waters of the river Godavari from Polavaram project left canal near
Tallapalem village in vizag district and to construct
Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi lift irrigation project to
irrigate 8 lakh acres of land in Vizag,Vizianagaram and
Srikakulam districts.Indirasagar lift irrigation project
is being constructed at Rudramkota village by utilizing
Polavaram project back waters to irrigate 2 lakh acres of land (1.25 lakh acres in Khammam district and 75 thousand
acres in west Godavari and Krishna districts ).Even though
the above two projects are the part of Polavaram project,
they are based on flood waters of the river Godavari and
they are not eligible to get National project status.So they are shown as separate projects.Original ayacut of Yeleru river was 1 lakh acres of land in E.G.Dt.After construction of Dowleswaram barrage in place of old anicut, 40 thousand acres of Yeleru ayacut was brought under Godavari delta ayacut by digging Pithapuram branch canal and the water saved in Yeleru ayacut was taken to the industries in Vizag.After completion of Polavaram project,the remaining 60 thousand acres of Yeleru ayacut would be brought under Polavaram project ayacut.So a new ayacut of Yeleru river could be created between Yeleru project left main canal and Polavaram project left canal to irrigate 1 lakh acres of land in East Godavari and Vizag districts.

26 November 2014
Posted by
m.s.murthy

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