Bhubaneswar: Amid the ongoing legal tussle and public backlash in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh has entered the Guinness World Records.
1. It created two world records for “pouring the highest amount of concrete” and “largest continuous concrete pour in 24 hours”.
2. The world record attempts by Navayuga Engineering Co. Ltd, which has been entrusted with some of the project work, began on Sunday morning at 8 am and ended at 8 am the following day.
3. Guinness adjudicator declared that the 32,100 cubic metres of concrete poured had broken the previous record of 21,550 cubic metres that was set in Dubai in 2018. They later handed over the certificate of the achievement after evaluating the hourly log sheets documented using drone.
4. According to chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh government has so far spent ₹15,585 crore on the multi-purpose irrigation project.
5. The project is estimated to irrigate 75.38 lakh acres in the state. It will also help supply 7.32 TMC of drinking water to Visakhapatnam, and another 16.12 TMC of water for industrial purposes.
6. The project, however, is mired in controversy since the time it was conceptualised.
7. Odisha and Chattisgarh have challenged construction of the project on the ground that it displaces thousands of villages on their sides.
8. On January 3, the Supreme Court had directed the Union government to file its response to the affidavits filed by Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments to obtain information for conducting public hearing regarding the controversial project.
9. On December 3 last year, the Supreme Court had rejected the Odisha government’s review petition to stop the ongoing work on Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh. The three-member bench instead directed the Centre to ask Odisha and Chhattisgarh to submit details about the area to be submerged, the number of people to be affected by the proposed project along with compensation and rehabilitation of the affected people after which the public hearing can be conducted in these two states.
10. Earlier, the counsel appearing for Odisha Gopal Subramaniam submitted in the court that Andhra Pradesh has not shared the report of backwater study.
11. Citing the Justice Bachawat tribunal award, Subramaniam said that the level of backwater effect in the state should not be more than 174 feet, but Andhra Pradesh has admitted that the backwater effect will be 216 feet, which will result in submergence of large areas in Odisha.
12. Andhra Pradesh CM has pledged to complete the project by the end of this year. He had even dubbed the recent meeting between Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrashekhar Rao as a machination to block the construction of the the project on the Godavari. “Odisha would get to use five thousand million cubic feet of water once the project is completed,” he had said, adding that people in the submergence areas of the project (falling in Odisha) would be fully rehabilitated.