The ordinance issue for the inclusion of seven mandals of Bhadrachalam division in Khammam district has been the hot news for last few days. A study conducted by the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) let slips the fact that Polavaram irrigation project through its storage waters of the project on the Godavari River will surely dip the temple town of Bhadrachalam provided the storage exceeds the limit of 36L cusec at a level of 140 feet height.
With this study based report, and even otherwise, the people of Bhadrachalam have been fuming over the authorities who didn’t bother to listen to the people’s woes in allocating the villages to residuary Andhra Pradesh. As many as 3L tribal people will get affected with the decision taken by the centre, apart from inundating the temple town Bhadrachalam itself.
Bhadrachalam, the temple town draws historical heritage, culture and the sentiments of most of the people who are associated with it. Therefore, it is most likely that there will be a further strong opposition from the people of Residuary Andhra Pradesh as well for Polavaram project in the prevailing design pattern, apart from the just round the corner threat from Telangana state.
According to the ibid study report, in 1986 the spillway project Polavaram has been designed for the flood of 36L cusecs is the first of its kind in the last 500 years. If at all the dam level is maintained at 140ft from Mean Sea Level (MSL) at Polavaram, it will make the Bhadrachalam at 186ft MSL.
Reports reveal the fact that during the recent floods that hit the state, the MSL at Bhadrachalam was 180ft and the town was almost submerged. If so was the case in the normal set-up, what would happen if Polavaram project gets realized in the existing design pattern.
From one end Telangana state government and all parties in the state demand to revoke the decision stating that it was against the wishes of the tribal community. Also, the Telangana government demands for the design change joining hands with Odisha and Chattisgarh who have also been opposing the project since beginning, stating that they were not against the Polavaram Project itself but for the design of the project.
It could be only the irrigation experts who could bring out the veracities of threats imposed. If an expert committee that could give the unbiased report would be established and their opinion would be sought, for sure, there will be a great advantage in the matter concerned.
Prevention is better than cure. To keep up the good fortitude and protect the sentiments of the people, an imminent action is solicited at apposite level to preserve the temple town Bhadrachalam as well as the tribal people being affected in the caved areas of Polavaram.