Polavaram project work gets 2-year extension; cost revised to Rs55,548.87 crore

The centre has given a two-year extension for construction work related to Polavaram multipurpose project in Andhra Pradesh, union minister for environment, forest and climate change Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.

The Polavaram project is very important to the people of Andhra Pradesh as it will irrigate nearly 3 lakh hactares of land, generate hydel power with installed capacity of 960 MW and provide drinking water to 540 villages, en route, covering 2.5 million population, including in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari and Krishna districts, the minister pointed out. 
He said the UPA government had, in 2011, had asked the government of Andhra Pradesh to stop construction work of the project but in the year 2014 the NDA government scrapped the “Stop Work Order” and declared the Polavaram project a national project to allow construction works. The project work was extended six times a year. 
Considering the immense importance of the project, the ministry is keeping the “Stop Work Order” in abeyance to allow the construction works for two years without permission to impound water, the minister stated. 
The project envisages construction of earth-cum-rock fill dam across river Godavari. The maximum height of the dam is 48 metres.
The centre on Monday also approved revised estimates amounting to Rs55,548.87 crore for the construction of the project.
Responding to a question by YSRCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for jal shakti, Rattan Lal Kataria, said that the centre had examined the proposal of the state government and had decided to approve the same.
Stating that more than Rs6,000 crore had already been released for the national project since 2014, Kataria in his response, said that a large chunk of the money, Rs33,168.23 crore, would be used for land acquisition and rehabilitation works.