The works at the ongoing mega Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh will continue as scheduled even during the monsoon season, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan said on Thursday.
In a review meeting with senior officials, the CM discussed the progress of six major irrigation projects including Polavaram project.
"Polavaram works will continue as scheduled even during monsoon," an official statement quoted CM having said in the review meeting in Amaravati.
The state has set a new target of December 2021 for completion of the Polavaram project which is now being implemented by infrastructure major Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL).
In December, Union Water Resources Minister had informed Parliament that the completion of the Polavaram project will depend on how fast the state government settles the issue of rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R).
Experts are of the view that this one project where the cost of relocation and rehabilitation, Rs 33,000 crore, is higher than that of the main irrigation project.
The proposed Polavaram Irrigation project aims to irrigate 2.91 lakh hectares, generate 960 MW of power, and fulfil water needs of industries and 540 villages in Andhra Pradesh.
Though the project was under contemplation since 1941, works started in 2005. The efforts to complete it gained momentum in 2015, following the bifurcation of united Andhra Pradesh.
In the meeting, irrigation department officials informed that the workforce for implementation of irrigation projects was at 3,000 in April. It got reduced to 900 due to COVID-19. Now the workers are returning and there are about 2,000 labourers working in various projects.
Besides Polavaram, the CM discussed other projects -- Owk tunnel-2, Veligonda head regulator works on tunnel-1, Nellore and Sangam barrage works, Vamsadhara Nagavali interlinking and Vamsadhara Stage 2 of phase 2.
The officials informed that the Owk tunnel 2 works are in progress and will be ready for inauguration by October, while 700 metres digging work is due at Veligonda tunnel-1 and will be completed on time and water can be released by October.
Stating that Nallamala sagar works were complete, officials told the CM that similarly, the Teegaleru canal work is being completed. Nellore and Sangam Barrage works are in full progress and will be completed by October, officials said. That apart, the works on Vamsadhara Nagavali will be completed by December.
The Phase 2 works on Vamsadhara are moving ahead and will fill 8 TMC water in the safe zone and by July next year, the works will be completed, they added.
Water Resources Minister Anil Kumar Yadav, Chief Secretary Neelam Sawhney, Irrigation Special Chief Secretary Adityanath Das were among those present at the meeting.