Gone were the days of snail-paced works at the Polavaram irrigation project of Andhra Pradesh. Braving the fear of pandemic hundreds of workers are racing against time and shaping one of the most crucial projects of the State, which was a mere graphic during the tenure of Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
Unlike the situation that prevailed two years ago the project site now is bustling with the activity of heavy machinery under the supervision of the battery of engineers and experts. Engineering and infrastructure major, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), with the active cooperation of the State government under the stewardship of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is all set to rewrite history by completing milestones of the project in record time.
MEIL sets Record
MEIL has set a record of sorts by achieving 5,58,073 cubic meters of concrete works, exceeding the target of 4,03,160 cubic meters for the period of April 2020- March 2021. Similarly during last year, MEIL completed 85,300 cubic meters of concrete work while the target was only 53,000 cubic meters even during the thick of Covid-19.
In June 2020 Megha achieved a whopping 1,20,100 cubic meters of concrete work against a target of 70,000 cubic meters. In February this year MEIL completed 83,000 cubic meters while the target was 47,000 cubic meters. The target for March 2021 was 68,600 cubic meters and MEIL completed 81,200 cubic meters of concrete works, surpassing monthly targets and inching towards the set goal.
Concrete Works in Cubic Meters
Month Achieved Target
April-20 36783 36783
May-20 85300 53263
June-20 120100 72215
July-20 20800 27798
August-20 14500 6148
September-20 14670 6444
October-20 20058 17607
November-20 25997 15691
December-20 19000 23036
January-21 36705 28513
February-21 82956 47047
March-21 81204 68615
Grand Total 558073 403160
Spillway works nearing completion
Works on the world’s largest spillway are nearing completion with the concrete and grouting works reaching a crescendo. In all 2,82,276 cubic meters of concrete works of Spillway were completed. Out of the 96 hydraulic cylinders, 84 were installed to the gates while 12 more cylinders were to arrive from Germany. Similarly out of the 24 power packs that operate these gates 13 power packs were fixed. These packs help lift 26 gates at once. Each power pack has the capacity to lift two gates. On the other hand installation of all 10 sluice gates into the spillway and 20 hydraulic cylinders has been completed. Six power pack out of ten power packs that will help to operate these cylinders has been installed.
Adhering to a strict timeline, excavation works at the Polavaram approach channel are going at a breakneck speed. So far 40 lakh cubic meters of the earth have been moved with the help of more than 300 Tippers and 100 excavators that are working round the clock. The aim is to fill the gaps in the upper-cofferdam and prepare the spillway to receive and discharge floodwater during the upcoming rainy season.
To facilitate this, the natural flow of Godavari has to be diverted six kilometers to the right. As the completion of the approach channel above the spillway is crucial, works on the approach channel are being completed on a war footing. MEIL is geared up to match the Central Water Commission (CWC)’s target which was raised by four times by speeding up excavation and transportation of excavated soil.
Spill Channel works at a brisk pace:
Withstanding heavy floods, MEIL has successfully completed 2,27,900 cubic meters of concrete works and excavation of 28,41,785 cubic meters at the Spill Channel. On the other hand, crucial excavation works of Hill-902 to an extent of 4,48,487 cubic meters has been completed.
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government is completing the Upper-Cofferdam works in a brisk manner while rectifying grave engineering mistakes of the earlier government. While construction of the diaphragm wall of Reach-I of the upper cofferdam has been completed, rock filling works are going on in a speedy manner. Works on Reach-II to a height of 42.5 meters are also going on. Under Reach-III, rock filling works of Reach-IV have been undertaken to hold Godavari river water. So far 5,77,676 cubic meters of rock filling works have been executed in Upper-Cofferdam.
Gap-II, Earth Cum Rockfill Dam
In all 11,96,500 cubic meters of Vibro Compaction works under Project Gap-II and 1,61,310 cubic meters of sand filling works were completed. This was crucial because Earth-Cum-Rockfill dam holds an important place in Polavaram along with the Spillway. This is being built on the sand dunes in the middle of the river. All required preliminary works as per the suggestions of the Dam Design Review Panel of the CWC have been undertaken.
Adhering to CWC’s directions
Even as the State government is constructing the project, the works are being executed as per the directions of the Union Government. As a result, the quantum of the works to be executed particularly with regard to the protection of the dam and reaping of anticipated benefits has increased considerably.
This is the reason why the State Government has recently hiked the estimates to suit the changes. The estimated expenditure rose to Rs 1,656 crores. The motto of MEIL is to surpass targets of the old works and to undertake new works as per the present requirement.