Fissures at Polavaram site due to movement of boulders: AP Water Resources Minister

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: A day after cracks were developed at the Polavaram Irrigation Project site, Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao has claimed that the fissures happened as the soil crumpled because of the movement of boulders. He also lashed out at the Opposition leaders for trying to create panic among people by making “baseless allegations”.

Speaking to the reporters in Rajamahendravaram after inspecting the project site on Sunday, the minister said, “The 901 hill area, where the incident happened, is about three km away from the spillway, contrary to the Opposition claims. It happened as the soil under the boulders falling from the hill, which was being levelled from 470 feet to 20 feet, moved. But, political leaders, started spreading rumours that the earth cracked near the spillway,” he clarified. 

It may be recalled that the project site had developed cracks on two different occasions in the past too. He explained that the department was working with a 50-day action plan to divert water by virtue of gravity by July. “About 30 lakh cubic metres of earthwork will be done in the next 50 days, besides completing the cofferdams. By July, water will be released into the Right Main Canal till Prakasam Barrage. We have asked to expedite the works of regulator to channel water into Left Main Canal and the approach channel is also being finished,” he observed. 

He said that works of the upper and lower cofferdams were also progressing as planned. “While ensuring water to Godavari region, we are also continuing the works of cofferdam,” he added. Rebutting the allegations of misuse of Central funds released for the national project, the minister said that all the bills were cleared by the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA). 

“We spent Rs 11,500 crore and the Centre released Rs 7,000 crore. All the bills were processed through the PPA. So, I dare YSRC leaders, including MP Vijaya Sai Reddy, to prove their allegations in public,” he said.

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