Expert: increasing cofferdam height will be disastrous

The State government is taking a huge risk by proposing to increase the height of the cofferdam to 41 metres upstream the main rock-fill dam of the Polavaram project, S. Satyanarayana, former Irrigation chief engineer, has said.

He was speaking at a meeting organised by the CPI(M) here on Wednesday.

The cofferdam was taken up to divert water through the adjacent spillway in order to take up construction of the rock-fill dam across the Godavari, he said.

The former chief engineer, who had been associated with the project since beginning, said the maximum flood level of the Godavari was 31 metres, and increasing the cofferdam to 41 metres could prove disastrous.

Should there be any eventuality, Rajamahendravaram city and Dowleswaram barrage could be adversely impacted, he said. He also cautioned that the level of the spillway should be maintained at 17 metres and not 26 metres as proposed.

Former superintendent of I and CAD Department B. Brahmaiah said the Chief Minister should not decide on increasing the cofferdam level in haste without ascertaining the strength of the dam and eliciting the opinion of experts.

“It is risky to allow the flow of water through the left and right canals being constructed adjacent to the cofferdam,” he said.

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