Water Resources Minister Ambati Rambabu on Wednesday said that the Andhra Pradesh government had not fixed any new deadline for commissioning the Polavaram irrigation project on the Godavari river.
“We admit that the execution of the project has been delayed due to damage done to the diaphragm wall on the project site in recent floods,” the Minister said while responding to a question posed by The Hindu at a media conference held at Sir Arthur Cotton barrage in East Godavari district.
The Minister released water from the Godavari river to the delta at Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowleswaram in East Godavari district on Wednesday.
On May 22, a 12-member expert team sent by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti assessed the damage done to the diaphragm wall on the project site. “The experts are yet to come up with any solution to the damage done to the diaphragm wall. They are clueless whether the diaphragm wall has been damaged partially or completely. Clarity is yet to emerge whether the diaphragm wall should be repaired or built again,” said Mr. Rambabu.
The Minister blamed the previous TDP government for technical problems that arose due to the construction of the diaphragm wall prior to the completion of the construction of the cofferdam.
“As of now, we have no deadline for commissioning the Polavaram project. We are waiting for the recommendations from the experts of the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti. However, we are striving to complete the first phase before 2024,” said the Minister.
Over the past decade, the successive governments have set many deadlines for the Polavaram irrigation project that has been accorded the national status. The project is fully funded by the Central government.