Sceptics fear Amaravati may go the Chennai way
Sceptics fear that Amaravati may go the “Chennai Way”

Vishnu Shankar: 

Today’s edition of Times of India raised an alarm in a front page article titled ” Amaravati could go the Chennai way”. In short it highlights the fact that ” Amaravati will be on the right bank of the river Krishna and the problem is much of the new capital will be located on land that was crisscrossed by the river earlier. Almost all rivers change their course over decades. Though the river shifts, it leaves below ‘paleochannels’ where water flows below the surface. In the event of heavy rains, there is the threat of land subsidence and these places are also prone to flooding.”

You can read the full article Times of India article HERE.

This is a serious issue and is of concern to all citizens. After all no one wants a capital that will go “the Chennai way” in times of heavy rains. So comes the important question – is anything being planned so that these fears are taken care of ?

Here are some observations.

  • A team of engineers and urban planners from Singapore visited the capital area of Amaravati in the last week of June 2015 precisely to study this concern and to come up with a plan to divert future floods from the Kondaveeti drain into a reservoir to meet the drinking water requirements of the capital. A reservoir that can take in 7,000 cusecs of flood discharge is being proposed at Vadlamanu village in Thullur mandal. It would be built with a +40-80 contour level with a capacity of 5 TMC. You can read a related THE Hindu report HERE.
  • The government has also made a fresh proposal to construct a barrage between Vaikunthapuram and Damaluru, which will serve twin purposes. 1) To stop flood water and divert it into a reservoir and 2) To provide an alternative drinking water source to the capital public. Read Andhra Nation’s earlier report HERE.
  • Let us also not forget that post Pattiseema project, 80 TMCs of water from Krishna are going to be diverted to Rayalaseema region from the Srisailam dam itself. So in any case, flood water hitting Amaravati is going to be that much lesser. Even this reduced water flow is also going to be controlled through the Vaikunthapuram- Damaluru barrage.
  • Lastly, A look at the Amaravati master plan will reveal that a detailed water grid plan within the core capital area is under works from the Singapore team. Read Andhra Nation’s earlier report HERE.Envisaged as a blue-green capital, Amaravati will have extensive waterways network which will facilitate distribution of any excess flood water. While this water grid is proposed as a means of giving the capital city an aesthetic edge, its efficacy in countering flood water menace is equally important.

There is no reason to believe that AP government will not take the flooding possibility seriously and will allow Amaravati to ” go the Chennai way”. Don’t forget, this is a greenfield capital with enough possibility to take corrective actions now and not an overgrown beast like Chennai, where precious little can be done after years of neglect. Sceptics may rest easy and concentrate on having a good night’s sleep!!