Expert panel for acquisition of 892 acres land in Telangana by Polavaram Authority

A high-level meeting of the Irrigation department attended by senior engineers and expert committee formed to come up with suitable measures for combating the frequent flood affecting Bhadradri-Kothagudem district has proposed to the Polavaram Project Authority to take up acquisition of 892 acres land submerged in six villages of four mandals during the July flood.

Chairman of the expert committee and Engineer-in-Chief (O&M) B. Nagender Rao explained at the meeting chaired by Special Chief Secretary (Irrigation) Rajat Kumar that Bhadradri-Kothagudem district would get affected with Polavaram project in three ways — with backwater, standing water inundation and drainage congestion of local streams.

He further explained that the standing water at +45.72 meters/+150 feet full reservoir level (FRL), which is likely to be maintained for about eight months a year, would result in submergence of 892 acres land in Nangineniprolu, Mothey and Iravendi villages of Burgampahad mandal, Anandapuram of Aswapuram, Seetharama Nagaram of Palvancha and Thurubaka of Dummugudem mandal.

In addition, three outfall regulators at Vista Complex, Kotha Colony and Etapaka would also also be blocked. Stagnation of drain and rain water would occur round-the-clock at the three sluices and need continuous pumping with high discharge pumps. The expert committee also brought to the meeting’s notice that the existing flood banks in and around Bhadrachalam stretch for 7.37 km having eight outfall sluices at different locations and sill levels.

It was also explained that during the July flood, the estimated maximum flood discharge (MFD) at Polavaram, as per Central Water Commission, was 21.59 lakh cusecs against 24.22 lakh cusecs estimated at Bhadrachalam. It clearly indicates afflux or backwater effect due to non-free flow condition at Polavaram and 103 villages were submerged covering an area of 40,446 acres and displacing 28,000 poeople during the July flood due to afflux.

The expert committee opined that it happened primarily due to local drainage congestion of 36 streams joining river Godavari caused by Polavaram backwater for a flood of 21.59 lakh cusecs apart from river morphology changes. It has also pointed out that another 46 villages would come under submergence if the MFD is in the measure of 36 lakh cusecs.

The only possible solution for drainage of the low-lying areas of Bhadrachalam and adjoining Burgampahad and Sarapaka would be continuous pumping with a separate O&M plan, the committee suggested. The Special Chief Secretary called for a detailed report by November 6 from the committee on flood hazards faced by people in Bhadradri-Kothadudem district and recommendations for permanent remedial measures to be placed before the Cabinet for seeking approval.

ENCs C. Muralidhar and B. Hariram, OSD to Chief Minister Sridhar Rao Deshpande, chief engineers of Kothagudem, Central Designs Organisation, Nagarkurnool and other participated.

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