The report prepared by the NWDA(National Water Development Agency) on the 174km Polvarm link, is available at the following link ( Please cut and paste in your browser)
Chapter 14 of the report talks about the environmental and ecological impact of the project. The Polavaram reservoir submerges an area of 63,691 ha comprising of 60,063 ha in Andhra Pradesh, 2,398 ha in Chattisgarh and 1,230 ha in Orissa. Out of the total
submergence area, the area under cultivation is about 30,650 ha and the forest area 3,705 ha. It is obvious that the project involves the displacement of a huge agricultural population most of them from Andhra.
To quote the report
"The main purpose of the Polavaram project is to provide water for irrigation to the ayacut upstream of the Godavari barrage, to supply drinking water to the Visakhapatnam steel plant and also to provide water to the chronic drought prone Cheepurupalle tract
in which the manganese belt is situated ...........
"Submergence of forest area may have environmental and ecological impact: Proper Environmental Management Plan (EMP) will be evolved to reduce the impact on the environment due to the project. Also, to minimise the loss of forest additional afforestation
programme will be taken up. Necessary provision has been made in the estimate for compensatory afforestation".
"The prospects of submergence leading to loss of homes and means of sustenance will have a traumatic effect on the affected population. The problems relating to resettlement and rehabilitation (R & R) are quite complex. It is essential that the contents
of R & R package should be very attractive".
"A total of 16207 families are likely to be affected due to creation of Polavaram reservoir. These families would need to be resettled in different villages in the nearby areas. To avoid dispute and problems, the selection of suitable agricultural land in
the command area and its division into required sizes and its distribution by draw of lot with the control of a High Level Committee comprising senior officers of concerned departments should be performed. In the case of Polavaram-Vijayawada link project,
30650 ha of culturable area is coming under the submergence of the proposed reservoir at Polavaram. Therefore, at least an equivalent area of land has to be acquired, suitably in the command area of the project for encouraging to carry out the normal agricultural
activities by the affected families".