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Andhra Pradesh - Vijayawada Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Pulichintala may be delayed

M. Venkateswara Rao


State government needs to release adequate funds to keep pace with the ongoing works

Failure to relocate even a single village reflects tardy progress in relief and rehabilitation work


- Photo: V. Raju

At snail's pace:: Work in progress on Dr. K.L. Rao Sagar (Pulichintala) project near Jaggayyapeta in Krishna district.

VIJAYAWADA: Already delayed and dogged by controversies, Pulichintala project is unlikely to be completed even by the revised deadline of 2011-12 unless the government releases adequate funds to keep pace with the ongoing civil and mechanical works .

  Dr. K. L. Rao Sagar dam was envisaged across Krishna river at Pulichintala, 85 km upstream of Prakasam barrage at Vijayawada , to impound 45 tmc ft of water released from Nagarjunasagar dam for power generation during summer. The water thus saved would be supplied to farmers by June itself and stabilise 13 lakh acres of existing ayacut in the century-old Krishna delta.

It was the first project taken up under Engineering, Procurement and Contract (EPC) system under which the contractor would design, procure materials and execute the work. He should in turn complete the work as per schedule and make no claims for cost escalation.

Hurdles from day one

Difficulties surfaced from the day foundation stone was laid for Pulichintala in October 2004. Naxalites opposed it and TRS went to court and stalled it for two years. When everything was clear, the contractor changed the designs reducing the number of gates from 33 to 24 and also changed the left non-over flow (NOF) dam from concrete to earth leading to another controversy. Though the TDP strongly opposed the changes in design, the government stood by the contractor saying that he was permitted to do it under EPC.

 Revenue officials have acquired nearly 23,000 acres out of total required 25,000 acres. As many as 15 villages in Guntur district and 13 villages in Nalgonda district would be submerged affecting nearly 11,000 families. Not a single village was relocated till now reflecting tardy progress in relief and rehabilitation work.

Cost revised

The government has however agreed to revise the cost from Rs. 550 crore to Rs. 1281 crore owning up responsibility for delays in site clearance, litigation, land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation and hindrance caused to the work due to floods. It has spent Rs. 585 crore till now. The government wanted civil works completed up to crest level by this October but engineers are sceptical about meeting this target.

Superintendent Engineer, Pullaiah, pointed out that erection of gates would start from October and it would require 10,000 tonnes of steel as each gate would measure 55 feet by 51 feet, the largest after Srisailam in the State. “Unless we make prompt payment, it would be difficult for us to goad the contractor to erect the gates as per schedule”, he says. The 120 MW hydel power station costing Rs. 57 crore is scheduled for completion by February 2011.

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