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Govt okays 2-year construction work order for Polavaram project

Addressing the media, Javadekar said that the order has been signed on Wednesday and the ministry has allowed the construction work to go on for two more years
New Delhi: Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar extended the construction period for Polavaram Multipurpose Project by two years. Addressing the media, Javadekar said that the order has been signed on Wednesday and the ministry has allowed the construction work to go on for two more years.

‘Polavaram project important for Andhra’

Javadekar said that Polavaram project is very important to the people of Andhra Pradesh as it will irrigate nearly 3 lakh hectares of land, generate hydel power with installed capacity of 960 MW and provide drinking water facilities to 540 enroute villages covering 25 lakh populations, particularly in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari and Krishna districts.

The backdrop

In 2011, the then government had asked the government of Andhra Pradesh to stop construction work of the project. But in 2014, the NDA government declared the Polavaram project a national project and the ministry kept the “Stop Work Order” in abeyance to allow the construction work. The “Stop Work Order” has been kept in abeyance six times for a year each time. Considering the immense importance of the project, this time the ministry has decided to keep the “Stop Work Order” in abeyance to allow the construction work for two years without permission to impound water. The project envisages construction of earth-cum-rock fill dam across river Godavari. The maximum height of the dam is 48 m.

Who is implementing the project?

The Polavaram Project Authority was initially being implemented by Transstroy. However, the company’s Rs 4,300 crore loan turn NPA in July 2015. In December 2017, it was reported that Transstroy was seeking a deadline extension and a budget escalation. In January 2018, the state government signed a new contract for the project spillway, spill channel and stilling basin concrete work with Navayuga Engineering. On January 7 this year, the Polavaram project entered the Guinness Book of World Records for pouring 32,100 cubic meters of concrete in 24 hours. By doing this, Navayuga Engineering beat the existing record of 21,580 cubic meters which was achieved by Abdul Wahid Bin Shabib, RALS Contracting LLC and Alfa Eng. Consultant (all UAE), in Dubai between May 18 and 20 in 2017.