THE FORGOTTEN PAST: TDP’s TURNCOAT PHENOMENON

  • TDP Govt increased the estimates on request of the contractor
  • Now all the revised designs and cost estimates by CWC

Frustrated, anxious Mr Chandrababu Naidu and his colleagues in the party, with the help of yellow media, making all efforts to stall the Polavaram Project completion on time. The Polavanram Project has become a point of jealousy for TDP leadership, as Chief Minister Mr Y S Jagan makes all efforts to complete the project at the earliest, which Mr Babu failed to do in his five-year term. In his tenure, the TDP leader turned the project into a synonym for graphics and corruption. He is still trying to stamp with the same logic with a cacophony of Yellow media’s help and carrying out all conspiracies against the present government. For the last one week, the TDP leaders and the yellow media making a lot of uproar about the project and accusing the state government of increasing the Polavaram Project estimates to benefit the contractor.

Jealous of success

The long-pending project dream realising soon, and the credit goes to the YSRCP government, as it is planning and executing the project meticulously and to be completed as per the schedule. The jealous Telugu Desam Party leaders squabbling with biased criticism. The YS Jagan’s government determined to complete Andhra Pradesh’s dream project, no matter, obstacles and malicious propaganda by the opposition. The YSRCP leadership hopes that the TDP leaders and the yellow media will end the propaganda and realise that the works are transparent and under the CWC guidance.

While the Telugu Desam Party, in power during 2016, increased the cost estimates by Rs.1500 crores, on the request of the contracting agency. But the TDP leaders or yellow media never utter a word about the cost escalation. The same party, currently in opposition, shouting at revised estimates by Rs. 1656 crores. They increased the headworks estimated cost of Rs. 4054 to Rs. 5535 in 2016, and issued the orders by the Mr Chandrababu government. In 2013, the contracting agency had entered an agreement with an estimation of Rs. 4054 crores. The contracting company requested the government to increase the cost in 2015-16, and Mr Chandrababu Naidu honored the request with no hesitation. In this cost revision, then opposition party YSRCP or TDP affiliated yellow media never raised an issue. The current uproar is reflecting their hypocritical nature. The glaring fact is that the recent cost escalation is because CWC recommended additional works have taken up.

The Fact is Fact

The Central Water Commission (CWC) must approve any increase or revision of Polavaram Project works. The special authority appointed by CWC supervises the project construction. This special authority’s decision is final to make any changes, additions, and modifications to the project. The state government has the limited role of supervising the construction work only. The central government agencies monitoring even the designs as the project has the world’s largest flood discharge capacity.

The project has damaged many places because of heavy floods in the last two years, including the diaphragm wall and the upper cofferdams. These damages were because the previous government executed them against the engineering principles. Given these experiences, the CWC has been changing periodically in the designs and to construct the reservoir to withstand 50 lakh cusecs of the flood. The frequent changes are increasing the amount of work and variations in the construction. Nearly 1.20 cubic meters of excavation have to do in the approach channel alone, which is four times higher than the initial estimations. Still, the CWC need to approve another three designs.

Jealous as the project progresses

The TDP leaders’ becoming more jealous as the project progresses at a brisk pace. Recently, these leaders only criticised that the works are slower than snail pace. They are looking for an opportunity to attack the project with baseless allegations, and the yellow media-originated most of them. As per the CWC recommendations, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has recently added additional works and included the previously approved works. After getting judicial approval, the government called for tenders for works worth Rs.683 crores. The DDRP members recently inspected the Polavaram Project and expressed satisfaction with the progress of the project. They also suggested new designs for the safety of the project additionally. The project estimates have also increased with the additional works in the old agreement accordingly. All these additional works are following the CWC recommendations.

The Additional works

The cutoff diaphragm wall will be constructed at 12 X 1354 meter dimensions at the end of the spill channel. This diaphragm wall prevents concrete blocks and mud from being washed away by the massive floods released from the spillway. This cutoff diaphragm wall will be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs.83.17 crores.

Soil hardening works in Gap-2;

The earth cum rock-fill dam is crucial to the project. We must harden the sand in the riverbed to a depth of about 100 feet, called Vibro-compression. This process hardens the soil and fills the gaps with sand. With the revised designs, it is to be filled with brick and concrete, called stone columns.

Depp soil mixing work will harden the earth from the depth, and this process will make it hard like a rock with no gaps in the underground. On this, the earth cum rock-fill dam will be constructed. With this revised work, the seepage from the riverbed prevented and helps in strengthening the earth cum rock-fill dam. The Rs. 211.12 crore tenders called for this work on the instructions of CWC.

Construction of dams in Gap-1 and Gap-3;

The AP government awarded the project works to MEIL, which had bagged the Polavaram headworks in reverse tendering to construct only an earth dam at Gap-1. However, as per the CWC experts recommendations, 586 meters long earth cum rock-fill dam also to be constructed. Besides this, constructing a plastic concrete dam from the ground, stone columns and deep soil mixing work to be executed. The tender has called for these works at an estimated cost of Rs.242.87 crores. These works to prevent water leakage. These additional works also protect the adjacent hydropower project.

As per the earlier agreement, only the earth dam to be constructed in the Gap-3. Instead of the earth dam, it is suggested that 140 meters long concrete dam constructed to the spillway level. The tenders called with an estimated cost of Rs.11.64 crores. To protect the hills on the right and left sides of the spillway bridge, particularly rockslides in the rainy season, the CWC experts suggested various safety measures. To undertake the proposed works, tenders issued for works worth Rs. 134.21 crores. The CWC recently proposed all these additional works with an estimated cost of Rs.683 crores. After the judicial preview completed, the tenders invited. Apart from these, some more additional works also suggested by the CWC. The estimated value has increased because of additional works added to the agreement value with the contracting company. The Andhra Pradesh government invited the tenders only after the CWC approvals for the enhanced estimates.

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