The Polavaram Project reached a major milestone on Monday with the completion of the crucial diaphragm wall. The longest and deepest such wall in the country, it forms the foundation for the Earth-cum-Rock-Fill (ECRF) Dam of the Polavaram project across the Godavari river. The diaphragm wall constructed below the ECRF dam prevents the leakage of water across the dam from the bottom of ECRF through sand pores.
It has been constructed in a record time of 14 months at a cost of Rs 423 crores.
The 1400 metres long diaphragm wall is 5 feet thick and is 130 to 307 feet deep at places below the ground. By deploying the latest German technology, the diaphragm wall is constructed using a special clay construction material called ‘bentonite’ to make it absolutely water proof. This can facilitate the hassle-free project construction even during the flood season without any leakages or breaches. About 2500 workers and 500 engineers worked on a mission mode towards completing the diaphragm wall which is a key component in Polavaram project construction.
“The toughest part of the project is done with the completion of the diaphragm wall. Next season we will start work on the earthen dam and the two coffer dams. On Sunday, we poured 11,158 cubic metres of concrete on a single day to finally complete the diaphragm wall. Polavaram project is now 55.12 per cent complete. Construction of the two coffer dams will start in the second week of October after the monsoon and will be completed in six months. The earthen dam will take another year,” VS Ramesh Babu, advisor on Polavaram Project to Government of AP, said on Monday.
The spillway would be completed by May next year including the erection of sluice gates. The 183 kms long Right Main Canal which joins the Krishna River at Prakasam Barrage at Vijayawada is already complete while the 181 kms long Left Bank Canal that will supply water to Visakhapatnam is under construction.
Officials said that so far Rs 13,755 crores has been spent on the Polavaram Project of which Rs 8,619 crores has been spent after the Centre declared it as a national project from April 2014. “The Centre has so far reimbursed AP Rs 6,800 crores of the Rs 8,619 crores spent since April 2014. The remaining amount is yet to be given,” an official said.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today inaugurated the pylon marking the completion of diaphragm wall at the project site in West Godavari district.
The multi-purpose Polavaram project dam would be150 feet high and will store 194 TMCs of water. This project will help irrigate over 7.2 lakh acres beside providing drinking water to several cities and towns, and to industries.