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Polavaram backwaters a lurking threat for Telangana, says expert

There is mounting evidence of abnormal occurrences such as flash floods in the Godavari basin too.

Updated On – 13 January 2024, 08:42 PM


Polavaram backwaters a lurking threat for Telangana, says expert


Hyderabad: Telangana is facing a lurking threat in the form of the Polavaram backwaters.

With extreme weather events occurring more often on account of climate change, it is high time that the Polavaram backwater issue is addressed in earnest, stressed a senior officer from the Central pool associated with the operations of the river boards. In an informal conversation with Telangana Today, the officer who sought anonymity said the onus now rests on the Central Water Commission to sensitize the government of Andhra Pradesh as well as the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) on the issue.


There is mounting evidence of abnormal occurrences such as flash floods in the Godavari basin too. The government of Telangana has presented its case sufficiently before the Central Water Commission with substantiating proofs on the flood havoc caused by the Polavaram backwater in Bhadradri Kothagudem district in 2022. Even in July last, Venkatapur mandal in Mulugu district, part of the Godavari catchment, witnessed flash flood with the area receiving an unprecedented rainfall of 64.9 cm within 24 hours.

This is neither the first phenomenon of this kind, nor will it be the last, he felt.

The CWC had directed the PPA to convene a meeting of AP and TS in April last and wanted it to help resolve the issue. The CWC PPA and the AP government to conduct a survey on the impact of backwaters of Polavaram project in Telangana. TS officials wanted the CWC to recognise the submergence in Telangana when water was stored at Polavaram at full reservoir level. But nothing much has happened so far.

At a meeting organized in Delhi on the backwaters issue last year, the officials from Telangana voiced concern over the inordinate delay in AP conducting the survey on the impact of backwaters. But AP remained unmoved on the issue. The TS officials pressed for a fresh public hearing on the issue. They wanted all possible steps to be taken to save the Bhadrachalam temple and the Manuguru Heavy Water Plant, a vital installation. They also insisted that AP should not resort to impounding of water in the project till the submergence area was identified by conducting a joint survey.

Andhra Pradesh however contended that the submergence area was already identified and compensation was also paid. There is no issue left to be resolved.

A senior officer of the Telangana Irrigation Department said the CWC had conducted three to four meetings as directed by the Supreme Court on the issue. “Even though we presented evidence that some 900 acres of area was facing the risk of submergence with the back waters of the Polavaram at its FRL of 150 ft, AP did not relent,” he added.

The stalemate has continued for the last two seasons. But the Ministry of Jal Shakti has failed to help resolve the issue, the officials pointed out.

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