Saturday, February 5, 2011


Polavaram As a barrage under BACHAWAT TRIBUNAL AWARD
1. Storage structure, usually a dam, which acts like a reservoir for storing excess runoff of a river during periods of high flows (as during the monsoons) and releasing it according to a regulated schedule.
2. Diversion structure, which may be a weir or a barrage that raises the water level of the river slightly, not for creating storage, but for allowing the water to get diverted through a canal situated at one or either of its banks. Since a diversion structure does not have enough storage, it is called a run-of-the river scheme. The diverted water passed through the canal may be used for irrigation, industry, domestic water needs or power generation.
See website:
Diversion of the Godavari waters to the Krishna (Issue VI)
see web site: [see pages 66 to 70]
Pleadings.—In their statements of case both Maharashtra (1) and Mysore(2) prayed for a direction that the waters of the river Godavari be diverted to the Krishna. Maharashtra contended that this diversion would help to meet, partly or fully, the shortage of waters in the Krishna. Since this water shortage had been created by over-appropriations by Andhra Pradesh with evident assistance of the Centre, it was the responsibility of the Andhra Pradesh Government to take up this work of diversion at its own cost and meet its water requirement from its share of the Godavari waters which would come to Andhra Pradesh on equitable apportionment by the Tribunal. Mysore contended that if Andhra Pradesh should require waters in excess of its legitimate share to irrigate vast areas for raising a second or even a third crop, it was open to that State to divert waters from the Godavari, since the Godavari had plentiful waters for such diversion. The necessity for the diversion would appear from the report of the Krishna Godavari Commission and the statement of the Union Minister for Irrigation and Power in the Lok Sabha on the 23rd March, 1963.
Andhra Pradesh opposed the diversion and contended (3) that the dispute was not a "water dispute" within the purview of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act. Andhra Pradesh contended that it was for Andhra Pradesh to consider whether it should augment its supplies in the Krishna by diversion of its share of the Godavari waters if its share of the Krishna waters fell short of its commitments and that this matter did not concern the other two States.
Issue.—The following issue ( Issue VI) was raised.—
"Is it possible to divert waters from the river Godavari to the river Krishna ? Should such diversion be made and, if so, when, by whom, in what manner and at whose cost ? Is the Tribunal competent to adjudicate on these questions ?"
Order of the Tribunal.—On April 19, 1971, the Tribunal passed an Order in terms of the following agreed minutes filed by Counsel for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mysore, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa :—
"(1) Parties have agreed that each of the States concerned will be at liberty to divert any part of the share of the Godavari waters allocated to it by the Godavari Tribunal from the Godavari basin to any other basin.
(2) In view of the pleadings and the statements of the States concerned, none of the States asks for a mandatory order for diversion of the Godavari waters into the Krishna basin.
(3) All the other contentions of the parties are reserved and will be decided in the Krishna case.
(4) The Krishna case will be decided separately from the Godavari case.
(5) The States of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are ordered to be discharged from the record of this case and will no longer be parties to this case.
(6) The States of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa will bear and pay their own costs." Clause 1 of the above order was amended by an order passed in terms of agreed minutes filed by the parties on the 27th July, 1971. The amended clause 1 is as follows :—
"Parties have agreed that each of the States concerned will be at liberty to divert any part of the share of the Godavari waters which may be allocated to it by the Godavari Tribunal from the Godavari basin to any other basin." Similar orders were passed in the Godavari case.
Effect of Orders of the Tribunal.—In view of the above orders, the State of Andhra Pradesh is free to divert its share of the Godavari waters to the Krishna river, but it can not be compelled to do so. It is still necessary to consider whether the possibility of the diversion of the Godavari waters to the Krishna or the absence of such diversion affects the equitable share of the parties in the Krishna waters.
Topo-sheet study.—The upper reaches of the Godavari Valley are lower than the corresponding reaches of the Krishna Valley. It is, therefore, not possible to divert, by flow, any waters from the upper reaches of the Godavari into the upper reaches of the Krishna.
The highest suitable point on the Godavari is near Pochampad from where its waters can be dropped into the Nagarjunasagar reservoir on the Krishna. In the lower reaches, there are possibilities of diverting the Godavari waters by a link canal from the Godavari near Albaka to Pulichintala on the Krishna and a link canal from the Godavari at Polavaram to Vijayawada.

Earlier Proposal.—The Ramapadasagar Project of 1951 contemplated diversion of the Godavari
waters by the Polavaram-Vijayawada link canal.(4) The Khosla Committee(5) discussed the possibility of the diversion.

Krishna Godavari Commission.—In 1961, the Krishna Godavari Commission was asked to report on the feasibility of diverting any surplus supplies in the Godavari to the Krishna indicating the quantity to be diverted and the cost involved. After examining this question, the Commission recommended that the shortage in the Krishna basin could be made up partly by the transfer of such surplus supplies from the lower Godavari area as could be utilised in the Krishna basin by the following two link canals :—
(a) A link canal from the Godavari at Polavaram to Vijayawada at a cost of aboutRs. 40 crores. This link canal would transfer about 211 T. M. Cft. of water to the Krishna.
(b) A link canal from the Godavari near Albaka or Singaraddy to Pulichintala on the Krishna at a cost of about Rs. 40 crores. This link canal would transfer about 95 T. M. Cft. of water to the Krishna.
The Commission considered that it should be possible, on the basis of the information contained in their report as well as field reconnaissance and some preliminary surveys to be carried out, to prepare a preliminary project report in about 6 months and establish the feasibility or otherwise and the scope of the proposed diversions from the Godavari to the Krishna. (6)
Later investigations.—As a result of the recommendations of the Krishna Godavari Commission, the work of investigating the diversion of the Godavari waters to the Krishna was entrusted to the Central Water and Power Commission and two Circles were opened, one for investigating the diversion links and the other for measuring discharges at some key stations on the Krishna and Godavari rivers. The Government of India set up the Godavari Krishna Technical Committee to review the progress of work in the two Circles and give suitable guidance to them. The feasibility of the link canals was discussed in four meetings of the Godavari Krishna Technical Committee between 1963 and 1966 and in inter-State meetings held in August and October 1967. No agreement on the subject was reached between the concerned States.
Godavari-Pulichintala link canal.—The Krishna Godavari Commission considered that it might be possible to divert 95 T. M. C. of the Godavari waters annually from this link canal. However, it is no longer contended by Maharashtra and Mysore that this link canal is technically feasible. Accordingly, we are not called upon to consider the possibility of diversion by this link canal.
Polavaram-Vijayawada link canal.—This link canal formed part of the Ramapadasagar Project which was later abandoned. The Polavaram Barrage scheme proposed by Andhra Pradesh consists of a barrage at Polavaram on the Godavari and two canal s. The right bank canal of this scheme would run up to Vijayawada. At the first meeting of the Godavari Krishna Technical Committee, all members agreed that Polavaram would be the best site for the link canal and that since the Polavaram barrage as well as the Vijayawada barrage would have no storage of their own, it would be necessary to have a storage site on the Godavari river upstream of Polavaram to provide the necessary storage for meeting the requirements of both the Godavari and Krishna Delta canals.(7) At the second meeting of the Committee(8) it was decided that the base study for the link canal would be made on the basis that the link canal would take off by a diversion structure from near about Polavaram and would get regulated supplies from a storage higher up or releases from a number of projects high up. At the second, third and fourth meetings of the Committee (9), and at inter-State meetings held in August and October 1967 several storage sites on the Godavari were discussed, but no agreement was reached. Maharashtra has stated that storages at Inchampalli and Ippur at the requisite level are not permissible in view of the extensive submergence of areas in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and that except the Bhopalpatnam and Watra Badruk Projects no other storage for meeting the reasonable irrigation needs of Andhra Pradesh is feasible.(10) This statement is not disputed by Mysore.
Revised Maharashtra Scheme.— In its final statement (11) regarding the Godavari diversion, Maharashtra proposes that for meeting the needs of the Krishna Delta, 146 T. M. C. of the Godavari waters may be diverted by the Polavaram-Vijayawada Link canal from the run of the river supplies and regulated releases of 171 T. M. C. from the Bhopalpatnam storage and 182 T. M. C. from the Watra Badruk storage. The Bhopalpatnam storage on the Indravati river would be a joint project of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and the Watra Badruk storage on the Pranhita river would be a joint project of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. One of the two storages is necessary and sufficient for the diversion scheme. Sufficient surplus supply from Andhra Pradesh's share in the Godavari waters after meeting its reasonable requirements will be available for diversion to the Krishna. The right bank canal of the Polavaram barrage scheme with suitable modifications can serve as the Polavaram-Vijayawada link canal. Mysore generally supports this proposal(12). Andhra Pradesh opposes the proposal(13).
Proposals for Bhopalpatnam and Watra Badruk projects.—
Before the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal, Madhya Pradesh proposed Bhopalpatnam Project Stages I and II as a joint project of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra(l4). The note on the Project stated that the proposal was based on topo-sheets and that field investigations were being undertaken. Maharashtra supported the proposal (15) The Project would submerge large areas in the territories of both Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Before the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal, Andhra Pradesh proposed the Watra Badruk (Pranhita) Project and stated that it would be for the mutual benefit of Maharashtra and Andhra States if the project was taken up as a joint venture. (16) Andhra Pradesh stated that detailed investigation of the scheme was in progress.
The project would submerge large areas in the territories of both Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Maharashtra supported the proposal. (17) There is no material before the Tribunal to show that the field investigations have been completed. No joint project report of either the Bhopalpatnam Project or the Watra Badruk Project has been filed before the Tribunal.
After the project reports are prepared, joint cost-benefit schemes will have to be finalised and it will be then for the States to consider whether any of the joint projects is feasible or advantageous. It is not possible at this stage to say that Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh will enter into an agreement for the undertaking of the joint BhopalpatnamProject or that Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra will enter into an agreement for the undertaking of the joint Watra Badruk Project. In the absence of an agreement, there cannot be a joint project or storage either at Bhopalpatnam or Watra Badruk. One of the two storages is necessary and essential for the diversion scheme proposed by Maharashtra. On the present materials it is not possible to say with certainty that either of the two storages will be available in the near future.
Possibility of Godavari diversion and equitable apportionment of the Krishna waters.—It may be that sooner or later either the Bhopalpatnam Project or the Watra Badruk Project may materialise and in that event the scheme for diversion Of the Godavari waters to the Krishna river for meeting a part of the requirements of the Krishna Delta Canals can be carded out. But the remote possibility of diversion of the Godavari waters to the Krishna is not a sufficient ground now for cutting down the allocation of an equitable share of the Krishna waters to Andhra Pradesh for meeting its needs.
Maharashtra argument regarding equities.—Maharashtra argues that in view of the statement of the Union Minister for Irrigation and Power in the Lok Sabha on the 23rd March, 1963 and other statements of the Union Government regarding diversion of the Godavariwaters into the Krishna, equities have arisen in favour of Maharashtra and Mysore and that if the diversion of the Godavari waters to the Krishna does not materialise, the allocations for Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam Project of Andhra Pradesh should be suitably cut down and modified. We are unable to accept this contention for the following reasons:—
In his Lok Sabha speech on the 23rd March, 63, (18) the Union Minister for Irrigation & Power said that Nagarjunasagar Stage it could be cleared only after investigations on Godavari supplies would be completed. He did not say that in the absence of the Godavari diversion the sanctioned Nagarjunasagar Project (Stage I) would be modified. Nagarjunasagar Project was undertaken in 1955 and its sanction was not dependent on the availability of supplies from the Godavari.
The Union Minister stated that Srisailam Project should be suitably modified after taking into account the requirement of 264 T. M. C. for Nagarjunasagar Project, the possibility of diversion of the Godavari waters and inflows between Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar. Suitable action was taken on this statement. On March 26, 1964, Srisailam Project was sanctioned by the Planning Commission. (10) The sanction was on the basis of ultimate water release of 180 T. M. C. from Srisailam. The preliminary sanction letter of June 7, 1963 and the letter and note of Planning Commission dated July 5, 1963 (20) pointed out that even on the assumption that the Godavari diversion would materialise, it could be safely assumed that the minimum release for power generation from Srisailam would be 180 T. M. C. annually. If there is no diversion of the Godavari waters into the Krishna, it will be necessary to release more than 180 T. M. C. annually
from Srisailam to meet the requirements of Nagarjunasagar Project and Krishna Delta Canals. The sanctioned Srisailam Project is not dependent or conditioned on the availability of additional supplies in the Krishna from the Godavari diversion.
On March 23, 1963, the Union Minister also stated that pending final allocation of waters, Maharashtra, Mysoreand Andhra Pradesh should withdraw respectively 400 T.M. C., 600 TM C and 800 T. M. C. of supplies from the Krishna. At a meeting between the representatives of Maharashtra and Union Governments on April 22, 1963(21). Shri S. B. Chavan, Minister of Irrigation &Power, Government of Maharashtra said that it was not clear on what basis the withdrawals had been allowed. Shri.Hafiz Mohammad Ibrahim, Union Minister for Irrigation and Power stated that the withdrawals indicated by him were only estimates and were not in any way final allocations. Shri M. R. Sachdev, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Irrigation and Power stated that sizeable surpluses would be available for further allocation to Maharashtra and Mysore as a result of diversion of the surplus waters of the Godavari to the Krishna but the quantum would be known after the investigations would be completed.
Shri C. L. Handa, Member, Central Water and Power Commission stated that additional supplies would be available as a result of diversion of the surplus waters of the Godavari estimated at 300 T. M. C. by the Gulhati Commission, and from regeneration or salvage of irrigation flows ; but he could not say how much of the additional supply would be available to Maharashtra. Shri O. V.Alagesan, Minister of State, Irrigation & Power said that 300 T. M. C. as a result of the Godavari diversion and 300 T. M. C. as a result of regeneration or salvage i.e. in all 600 T.M.C. would be available and the allocations had been made on that basis. Shri Handa stated that the surpluses on account of regeneration and salvagecould not be quantified. Shri B. Y. Barve, Minister of Finance, Government of Maharashtra stated that, according to Maharashtra, hardly any further supplies in addition to the withdrawals of 400, 600 and 800 T. M. C. indicated in the Union Minister's statement would be available for allocation from the Krishna. No definite assurance was given to Maharashtra by the Union Government that investigations regarding the Godavari diversion had been completed and such diversion was technically feasible,or that any portion of the additional supplies in the Krishna from the diversion would be available to Maharashtra, nor did Maharashtra act upon such an assurance. No representative of Andhra Pradesh was present at the meeting. Our attention was not drawn to any other statement of the Union Government in this connection.
Andhra Pradesh made no representations concerning Godavari diversion for which it can be saddled with any equities in favour of Maharashtra and Mysore. The States of Maharashtra and Mysore submitted that in the event of diversion of the waters of the river Godavari to the river Krishna, there should be a self-executing order providing for equitable distribution of such waters.
Alternatively, they submitted that in the event of augmentation of the water of the river Krishna by the diversion of the waters of the_ Godavari, the Ganga or any other river, liberty should be reserved to them to claim the benefits of the diverted waters. The State of Andhra Pradesh strongly disputed these claims. The question whether the States of Maharashtra and Mysore should be given any share in the" diverted waters will require examination if and when the waters of the river Godavari or any other river are diverted into the river Krishna. We are providing for review of our final order after the 31st May, 2000. We are inclined to think that all the States should be at liberty to urge their respective contentions before the reviewing authority after the 31st May, 2000 and not earlier. Accordingly, we propose to pass the following order :—
"In the event of the augmentation of the waters of the river Krishna by the diversion of the waters of any other river, no State shall be debarred from claiming before the aforesaid reviewing authority or tribunal that it is entitled to greater share in the waters of the river Krishna on account of such augmentation nor shall any State be debarred from disputing such claim". Issue VI is answered accordingly.
         Part -II Why Many  Genuine Experts Wanted Polavaram As a Barrage and not as a risky Dam .
 In the case of Polavaram dam project almost all the people including the so called experts are not at all interested in taking a  comprehensive view of the several  Socialogical,technical,economic,legal and environmental  including even tthe safety aspect of the project. Some of the crucial points are presented here in a chronological order to identify the different vested interests that influenced the course of events resulting in prolonged legal battles in different courts and public agitations that demanded  for better alternative Schemes taht are ,safe,technically feasible ,economically viable and socially acceptable
Old Generation of Government Experts proposed a Barrage or a Concrete Dam but not a risky Earth- Rockfill Dam at Polavaram  for Diverting Godavari Surplus waters into Krishna  river SEE  [study  pages 66 to 70 of Chapter VII on Godavari Water Diversion  into krishna basin by a b arrage and  detailed and reasoned answer provided to ISSUE VI by Bachawat Tribunal during 1979-1980 as Maharashtra and Karnataka were agitating for more of krishna water  by diversion of Godavari flood waters into krishna river basin ]

During 1850’s Sir Arthor Cotton suggested for a barrage at Polavaram:   
Sir Arthor Cotton was  a great humanist and a friend of the farmers wanted maximum utilization of Godavari waters for augmenting agriculture and suggested that in order to irrigate the uplands of East and West Godavari districts. Another anicut must be constructed on the upstream side of Rajahmundry. Because he was a great Irrigation Engineer with humanistic outlook and great vision he knew that it will be a highly dangerous to propose a major water storage dam in the close proximity of growing townships like Rajahmundry which may be adversely affected due to collapse of such a major storage dam for one reason or the other. Hence Sir Arthor Cotton suggested for an anicut to irrigate more lands in the upland areas of Easternghats in East Godavari and West Godavari districts.

In 1945, Madras Government proposed a high concrete dam at Polavaram site :    Madras Presidency Government proposed a major reservoir project across Godavari before independence and it was known as Ramapada Sagar project with a height of 198ft. in the first phase to raised to 208ft. in the final phase with a storage capacity of 690 TMC. This was proposed as a concrete dam with a total height of 438ft. upto the foundations with sand bed extending for a depth of about 230ft. below the bed level. The spillway was provided for a length of 4200ft for a peak discharge of 21 lakh cusecs. Since concrete dam had to be taken upto the bedrock for its safety the cost of the project became too high and hence the high cost factor made the dam not all feasible and hence it was given up.

In 1953 Khosla Technical Committee sugested for a Barrage at Polavaram site: The Government of India appointed a high power technological committee under the chairmanship of Dr.A.N.Khosla, Chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC) to study and submit report on the optimal utilization of water in Krishna-Godavari and Pennar rivers. This committee stated that there is a possibility of diverting Godavari water by constructing either a dam or a diversion barrage with a canal to transfer 142 TMC into Krishna river. The Committee further stated that if Ramapad Sagar dam is not built but a storage reservoir is constructed upstream on Godavari or its tributaries and only a diversion barrage is built at Ramapadsagar dam site the transfer of 142 TMC of water into Krishna river will remain unaffected.

In 1961 AP State Government Suggested for a Barrage at Polavaram site: In a technical report by the AP State Government prepared a 1961 on the optimum economic utilization of Krishna and Godavari waters the state Government recommended for construction of a barrage at Rampad Sagar site and a dam at Inchampalli to divert Godavari waters into Krishna rivers in Para 23 of the Report in the following words.

“The only practical scheme for diversion of Godavari waters to Krishna basin the lower reaches is by construction of Inchampalli dam and Rampad Sagar barrage. By this it will be possible to divert waters at less cost than the previous proposals (made by Maharashtra state Government) as the tunnels are eliminated and length of the canal reduced. But this itself is very costly as commented upon by the technical committee (Khosla committee) who stated that with a small quantity of water for diversion the economics of the proposal becomes problematic.

In 1962 the Technical Committee headed by Gulhati suggested for a barrage at Polavaram site: The Ministry of Irrigation and Power, Government of India appointed in a technical commission in May 1961 to study and submit a report on the utilization of Krishna and Godavari waters including the feasibility of diverting Godavari waters into Krishna river and the committee submitted its report in August 1962. This Commission was headed by an eminent engineer Mr.Gulhati along with other highly technically qualified experts as members. The Commission in its report stated that there will be ample surplus water in the upper part of the Godavari basin to meet the demands of thelocal projects and the surplus water from the lower part of the Godavari basin including the sub basins of Pranahita, Indravati and Sabari can be used for irrigation and hydro-power projects will be more than 10 MAF (435 TMC) and this surplus flow can be diverted into Krishna basin by the following 2 link canals.

1. A link canal from the Godavari from the anicut at Albaka (or Singareddi) to Pulichintala on the Krishna river, estimated at Rs.40 crores. This link canal can transfer about 95 TMC (2.2 MAF) to the Krishna.

2. A link canal from Godavari near Polavaram can transfer about 211 TMC (4.8 MAF) into Krishna river at Vijayawada estimated at Rs.40 crores about 30 TMC from Penganaga can be transferred through a link canal to make up the shortage of water in the Upper Godavari area.

In 1965 a technical Committee headed by Mr.A.C. Mitra suggested a barrage at Polavaram site: The Government of India appointed an expert committee in the wake of recurring floods in Godavari and Krishna rivers which were causing excessive flooding of the Kolleru lake to study the impacts of floods and suggest remedial measures. This technical committee headed by an eminent irrigation expert Mr.A.C.Mitra along with other irrigation experts recommended for the construction of a barrage at Polavaram for irrigating the upland areas on either side of the barrage.

Rampad Sagar  Reservoir is so named for the reason that the waters of the reservoir will lap the feet of Srirama at the Bhadrachalam temple, 74 miles above the proposed dam near Polavaram village.  This Concrete Dam was intended to irrigate 24 lakhs of acres with Paddy cultivation in addition to stabilizing irrigation in 21 lakh acres in Godavari and Krishna delta and will yield a million tonnes of rice that  will eliminate all the pre-war imports of rice from Burma and Travancore. Hydro-power of 75000KV and the projected was expected to be completed by the end of 1946.  Project cost was Rs.63 crores. The net return is 3.7% per annum on the net capital  outlay.Rock was below 200 ft. and it proved uneconomical and posed difficulties and was given up

In 1970 AP State Engineers proposed a big reservoir at Polavaram  but designated it as a barrage : AP State submitted Polavaram barrage scheme in June 1970 to the Bachawat Tribunal. This scheme consists of a barrage across Godavari at Polavaram with FRL at +145ft. and minimum pond level at +45ft with Left Bank Canal upto Vizag Port with Full Supply Level with (FSL) at +137ft and Right  Canal upto Krishna river with FSLat +138ft. Safe Concrete Dam was replaced  by a risky Eart-cum-rock fill dam

In 1978 AP State Engineers proposed a hazardous  earth-cum-rockfill dam at Polavaram site:      AP state changed the Polavaram barrage scheme into an earth-cum-rockfill dam with a maximum height of 48.77m (160ft) with a crest length of 1555m (5100ft) . It had 2 spillways on the right flank sadal with 50 radial gates (50ft. x 42ft) with a flood lift of a 14ft. for peak design flood of 36 lakh cusecs. It had a concrete gravity dam on the left flank with Power house and river sluices. The earth dam is 35.05m (115ft) above the average river bed and 48.77m (160ft) above the deepest bed level of the river. This height for the dam is stated to be necessary for diverting the required quantity of water into the canals which proposed to irrigate vast areas on both the flanks. The MDDL and FRL stated to be required are +44.2m (145ft.) and RL +47.72m (+150ft) respectively with gross storage capacity of 5665 Mm3 (192 TMC) The storage available between the minimum draw down level and FRL (44.20m to 45.72) is only 800 Mm3 (28.31 TMC). The project serves 4.82 lakh ha. (11.90 lakh acres) of Ayacut during Kharif (June to October) and 2.27 lakh ha (5.6 lakh acres) under second crop (Jan to April) in the ultimate stage. The left canal, 208kmlong upto Visakhapatnam and it serves industrial needs and irrigates 1.89 lakh ha under first crop and 1.25 lakh ha. under second crop in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam. A lift irrigation canal starts at Km 177 near Anakapalli, 130km long irrigates 1.15lakh ha in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam. Another lift canal, 177km long starts at Polavaram to serve upland areas of 0.57 lakh ha under first crop and 0.2 lakh ha under second crop in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts. The right main gravity canal 176km long upto Budameru river irrigates 1.21 lakh ha. under first crop and 0.80 lakh ha. under second crop in West Godavari and Krishna distrits.

In August, 1978 AP State made a conditional Agreement with Karnataka on Polavaram dam: On 4-8-1978 an agreement was signed between Karnataka and AP State under which clause-VII states that under the condition that clearance to Polavaram project is given by CWC for FRL/MWL of +150ft. MSL. AP State agrees to divert 80 TMC into Krishna for utilization by projects upstream of Nagarjuna Sagar by allotting share of 45 TMC to AP State and 35 TMC to both Karnataka and Maharashtra. Another condition is that AP Sate submits Polavaram project to CWC within 3 months of striking an agreement with all the 5 river basin states and that AP state will bear the full cost of this water diversion and if this quantity diverted is exceeded the water will be shared in the above stated proportion. Surprisingly while the Karnataka state Government which has no adverse impacts due to Polavaram project has taken the initiative to fix the height of the Polavaram dam the most effected states of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa were left with the option of deciding to agre on the crucial matter on submersion of lands in their states. Andhra Pradesh made agreements with Madhya Pradesh on 7-8-1978 and Orissa on 15-12-1978 on the issue of submersion of lands due to Polavaram project with the condition that including backwater effect. The design of the Polavaram project should be such that the submersion should not exceed +150ft MSL at Konta in Madhya Pradesh and Motu in Orissa due to maximum Probable Flood and backwater effects determination in consultation with Central Water Commission.

July, 1979: CWC finds fault with AP State for a faulty agreement on Polavaram: The CWC sent letter No.6/125/78-T.E/25 12-2514, dated the 3rd July, 1979 to Andhra Pradesh Government, the material portion of which is as follows:-

“It is seen from the project report that the State Government of Andhra Pradesh have proposed the Polavaram project for an FRL/MWL of +150ft. Therefore, prima facie, with MWL at Polavaram at RL +150ft. submergence due to all effects including that of backwater effect will always be more than RL+150ft upstream and also at Konta. The Stte Government will no doubt be working out the backwater effects at Konta/Motu considering advance releases from polavaram dam. It is however seen that during the year 1966 CWC had observed that a flood level at Konta had reached an RL 46.595m (RL 152.88ft) which is 0.875m higher than RL 45.72m (RL+150ft) This is an observed flood whose frequency is expected to be high. For a flood at Konta corresponding to frequency the flood adopted for the Polavaram dam (which will be between 1 in 500 years to 1 in 1000 years), the natural flood level at Konta should be expected to be substantially higher than RL +45.72m (RL +150ft) It would thus be een that the stipulation that a flood level at Konta/Motu should not rise above RL +150ft will not be practicable and that the agreements entered into by the states may have to be suitably modified. Perhaps this situation about observed flood level at Konta might not have been known to you and other states when this agreement was concluded.

In October 1979 Maharashtra supports the conditional agreement on Polavaram dam:                   On 15-10-79 the Maharashtra state Government took a very cantankerous cold blooded and brutal stand on the Polavaram dam project by demanding the Bachawat Tribunal to consider the agreement of 4th August 1978 between AP state and Karnataka as a practicable one and to consider the temporary submergence in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh preventable by constructing and maintaining protective embankment in the interests of Justice and for securing most equitable allocation of waters in the Godavari river.
Consequently Maharashtra wanted the tribunal to incorporate and give effect to clause VII in Karnataka Government in its report under Sec 5(2) and pass the required order and thereby implying that the tribunal must permit for the construction of Polavaram dam with FRL at +150ft irrespective of any disastrous consequences and at any cost.
 Madhya Pradesh disagrees with the contention of Maharashtra:
This Maharashtra petition was circulated to other basin states for replies. Karnataka did not file any reply. Andhra Pradesh submitted the tabulated statement of backwater level for the pre and post project conditions for 30 lakhs and 36 lakhs cusecs flood. AP wanted FRL 150subject to the safeguards regarding flood protection works. Madhya Pradesh disagreed with views of Maharashtra.
Orissa insists on integrated water resources planning for projects at Inchampalli and Polavaram:
Orissa stated that Polavaram and Inchampalli projects are closely interlinked because Polavaram project is dependent on the releases from Inchampalli Hydro-Power plant and the FRL and MWL of Polavaram depend upon the FRL and MWL of Inchampalli project and its spillway discharge capacity and the pattern of releases from Inchampalli and both these projects would be so palnned that the submergence in Madhya Pradesh and Orissa would not exceed +150ft due to all causes. Orissa rejected the arguments of Maharashtra on Polavaram project while Karanakata though did not file a reply yet it tried to support the arguments of Maharashtra.

The raise in elevation of the surface profile of a river when the flow is retarder above a dam is referred to as the backwater effect of the dam. It is the excess submergence over and above that by natural floods as caused by the backwater effects due tos the Polavaram dam that is to be avoided or minimized as far as possible. But the correct backwater effect or backwater level due to Polavaram dam must be determined by the CWC as per para 110 of the Bachawat Tribunal report.

The tribunal under chapter-2 of the final report dt.7-7-1980 under sec 5 (3) and Paragraph 12 the tribunal left the matter for the clearance of the Polavaram project to the CWC after making the following observations

“The CWC will naturally keep all these points in view while clearing the Polavaram project in consultation with the concerned parties, after giving due consideration to achieve the objectives mentioned in the project reports of Andhra Pradesh. The tribunal however, on its part does not find any difficulty for clearing the Polavaram project at FRL/MWL +150ft.

AP State Proposes Embankments to Prevent submersion in Upper States and insists on conditions:
On 26-10-1979 AP state agreed to prevent temporary submersion due to the dam by constructing and maintaining protective embankments. The AP also stated that there can be no question of diversion of Godavari waters into Krishna unless Polavaram project is cleared for FRL +150ft and subject to such safeguards as the tribunal may provide so as to give effect to all the agreements without detriment to any of the parties (Para 123 of the Tribunal report)

1980: During the President rule in Orissa, a middle level engineer was deputed on behalf of Orissa state government to sign on agreement along with AP and Madhya Pradesh and Central government on Polavaram project. The Government of India gave in writing on 26-3-1980 that Polavaram dam with FRL at +150ft. is technically feasible.But Environmental safety was ignored

In the final submissions before the Bachawat Tribunal the AP State Government demanded on 25-2-1980 the tribunal that since both the upper states have agreed for permanent submersion of their lands upto +150ft the tribunal may permit submersion of lands in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh upto 175ft but it is not accepted because submersion had to be prevented by construction of embankments as suggested by the Central Water Commission with adequate pumping arrangements and drainage sluices.
Thus the interstate agreement envisaged that AP state will submit proposals for Polavaram dam within 3 months of the agreement made by all the 5 river basin states so that the CWC will clear the project as expeditiously as possible to enable the state Government to complete the project in time.Because of the Delay of the project by 25 years,all the legal and environmental hurdles have cropped up such as increse of peak floods from 36 to 50 lakhs cusecs and the consequential increse in submersion levels in upper states,making Bachawat Award conditions invalid

30-4-1983: Dr.K.L.Rao warned that Polavaram dam is under-designed and is unworkable. He expressed strong opposition to the Dam because of various reasons like under-designed spillway for the higher levels of peak floods expected to occur in the near future.see annexure below for more details on defective designs

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Born in 1932 at Mudinepalli, near Gudivada, Krishna Dist. Andhra Pradesh, received Bachelors degree in Civil Engg., from Viswesaraiah Engineering College, Banglore (1956) and Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Rice university, Houston, Texas, (USA) (1962), Ph.D (Hony). Former Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and principal of College of Engineering, Andhra university.Formerly Hony.Professor in Andhra University,Manonmanian Sundarnar University,JNT University. Fellow of the Institution of Engineers,India Recipient of the University Grants Commissions National Award "Swami Pranavananda Award on Ecology and Environmental Sciences" for the year 1991. Recipient of Sivananda Eminent Citizen Award for 2002 by Sanathana Dharma Charitable Trust, Andhra Pradesh state. Presently Working as Director, centre for Environmental Studies, GITAM University,