Prof.T.Shivaji Rao,

Director, Centre for Environmental Studies, Gitam University,Visakhapatnam  


Browse all the 7 (0 to 6) websites on Polavaram dam



http://profshivajirao.googlepages.com/polavaramdam-2 http://profshivajirao.googlepages.com/polavaramdam-3





(See other chapters from 1 to 8 of the above website)

http://www.sscac.gov.in/p_maindam.html [Drainage:88,000Sq.km.Design flood:1 in 1000 years:87,000 cumecs]


 http://profshivajirao.googlepages.com/modifyingsardarsarovardam [sardar sarovar dam http://www.irn.org/programs/brazil_dams/index.php?id=archive/060628campos.html

 http://www.sfenvironment.com/articles_pr/2003/article/120503.htm [safety principles http://www.fmd-online.de/indien/news/Samata%20Report.pdf#search=%22pushkaram%20lift%20irrigation%20project%2CA.P.Government%20scheme%22[ Too costly project]

www.cehq.gouv.qc.ca/loisreglements/barrages/reglement/index-en.htm [ Safety Check Flood,Canada]

http://origin-www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-60-2002mo.pdf [PIL,pp.9&10]


The above 2 sites are good- Design Flood Criteria is for Dams for Asian and other countries .


http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/dams/Images/pdfs/guidelines_EAP.pdf[EAP plans]

Having accepted the use of a Design flood of 1 in 1000 years,of 87,000 cumecs for  the catchment of 88,000 Sq.km.for Sardar sarovar project, how can CWCaccept blindly the Design flood of 1,02,000 cumecs for polavaram Dam for its 3.5 times higher adjoining catchment of 3,06,643 sq.km,unless CWC considers Polavaram Dam as a prescription for Disaster that kills 45 lakhs of people in  Delta.?[see EIA .http://www.nodig06.im.com.au/pdfs/9%20Rajeev%20Vishnoi.pdf ....Tehri Spillway is a Modern design

 based on  PMF of 10,000 years return period,of 15,540 cumecs for 7,511   Sq.Km.catchment

 some experts treat 500-year return flood as equivalent to 0.4 PMF in some specific cases

CWC asks AP to consult Orissa on modifying operation schedule of Polavaram

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/01/20/stories/2009012059320400.htm (operational schedule?)

For the tables see  page 35 of    http://www.defra.gov.uk/........ -21.pdf of the above web site

For the above graph see page 33 of http://www.partnerre.com/pdf/Flood-2002.pdf#search=%22%22Figure.8%3ARelationship%20between%20short%20term%20rainfall%22%22

A relationship will often be needed between return period and percentage of Probable Maximum Flood (PMF).  The growth curve in the following figure  is derived from the figures quoted in "Floods and Reservoir Safety”.  It is only approximate and should probably not be used overseas without careful checking.


(See Page 223)

















              Causes of dam breaks and their percentages due to Chinese statistics




Overtopping, including
1) insuffiency of spill facilities
2) extreme flood exceeding design criteria



Piping and other seepage problems, including
1) Piping in dam body
2) Piping at foundations
3) Piping around spillway
4) Piping around tunnel



Other structural problems
1) Slope, slide of dam body
2) Quality trouble in spillway
3) Quality trouble in tunnel


Poor management, including 

1) Decrease of reservoir standard for flood control due to over storage prior to flood season
2) Poor maintenance and operation
3) Temporary bag dam on spillway crest failed to remove in time
4) Nobody in charge of managemen



Others including
1) Spillway blocked due to blank slide in reservoir
2) Digging breach on dam face for discharging
3) Poor planning of general layout of project





 The Chinese statistics show well that in a tightly populated country also small dams may cause potential hazards and threat to human lives. China has a significant dam & reservoir building program of 200 to 250 dams every year: Due to the establishment of rules and regulations and the development of modern techniques in design, construction, operation and management, only a few dam break events have happened in China after 1980. The potential risk for dam fallures and related hazards is nevertheless well understood inChina, and the research on dam break dynamics has been evaluated one of the most important tasks for future development.  http://www.hydrocoop.org/rsmgeneralstatus.htm  

Dam Failures:USA[ASCE]


There are over 80,000 dams in theU.S. (FEMA 1993, 12). More than 20,000 have been rated as “significantly” hazardous, with about 10,000 of these rated as “high” hazard (FEMA 1993, 12). High hazard signifies that significant loss of life and property is likely.

35% of the high hazard dams have not been inspected since 1990. (ASCE 1998)

More than 2,000 communities are at risk from dams that have been identified as unsafe. (FEMA 1995, p. SM Sim 1-3)  A 6 March 1998 American Society of Civil Engineers report notes that in the past ten years more than 200 dam failures occurred (ASCE 1998). The report goes on to state that:

…an alarming number of dams across the country are showing signs of age and lack proper maintenance. Downstream development is increasing. Most older dams were build without adequate spillways to release water in heavy rains, which causes water to run over the top. Inadequate spillway capacities are the most common deficiency and a major cause of dam failures. Dam safety officials estimate that thousands of dams are at risk of failing or are disasters waiting to happen. (Quoted in National Hazards Observer 1998)

It has been estimated that the average cost of repairing one unsafe dam is approximately $500,000, meaning that it would cost approximately $1 billion to rehabilitate all unsafeU.S. dams (ASCE 1998).

“At the present time, about one-third of all dam failures are caused by over-topping due to inadequate spillway design, about one-third are caused by seepage through the dam and the remaining third are due to foundation problems and other effects, such as the liquefaction of earth dams as a result of earthquakes or landslide-generated waves within the reservoir” (Smith 1996, 318).

In May of 1889, over 2,200 people died when a 36-40 foot wall of water hit Johnstown,Pennsylvania, when an earthen dam failed (FEMA and NOAA 1996, p. III-28)

OnMarch 12, 1928, the St Francis dam inVentura County, CA failed catastrophically, releasing “[a] wall of water 60 meters high…into the [San Francisquito] canyon and dispersed into theSanta ClaraValley, through the towns of Piru and Fillmore on its way to the Pacific Ocean (Reisner 1993). The flood killed 450 people, destroyed 1,250 homes, and inundated 7,900 acres of prime agricultural land, thus constituting one of the worst human-made disasters inUS history (Outland 1977).” (Bolin/Stanford 1998, 108)

1972:   “a poorly maintained dam burst…in the coal mining valley of Buffalo Creek, West Virginia…[with] no warning and 125 people were killed and 4,000-5,000 were made homeless” (Smith 1996, 260).

1985, October 7: 29 people died in Puerto Rico when water overflows the in-need-of-repair Coamo River Dam and collapse a pan of the Las Americas Expressway (NRC 1994, 120).

1992, June 9:  238 people died inRapid CitySouth Dakota when the Pactola Dam failed after 15 inches of rain fell overnight causing the water to rise 12 feet behind the dam. Approximately $160 million in property damage was recorded. (Abbot 1996, 303-304)

Eminent Irrigation Expert  , Dr.K.L.Rao WARNS AGAINST  SAFETY OF  POLAVARAM DAM

Extract from Indian Express (Vijayawada 1-5-1983)

In an exclusive interview to Express News Service Dr.Rao who is taking rest atNellore said yesterday that there was not enough water in the Krishna to take up any new projects upstream without affecting the existing ones downstream. 

Referring to claims of the people of Telangana region and the districts of Cuddapah and Chittoor for Krishna waters through Srisailam right and left canals and extending the benefits of Telugu Ganga to more areas Dr.Rao said “They are fighting for water that is not there”

Dr.Rao ruled out the possibility of diverting surplusGodavari waters to the Krishna owing to defective designing of the Polavaram project and high cost involved in the Sriramapada Sagar project.

Only 1800ft spillway was provided in the Polavaram project to clear 40 lakh cusecs of flood waters in the Godavari as against 13,000 ft long Dhowlaiswaram anicut designed by Sir Arthur Cotton.   Even Prakasam barrage was designed to 6,280 ft. long though the flood water would not be more than 12 lakh cusecs, Dr.Rao said.

It was simple arithmetic to understand that the Polavaram design would not work, he said.




1. But it is after the confluence with Sabari that some of the most picturesque scenes of the world are seen.  The Godavari begins to wind amongst the spurs of the Eastern Ghats, which gradually close on it, till it is forced to go through a picturesque gorge at papikonda which for 3km is  as narrow  as 200 or 300 meters.  ( 200 to 300 feet as per Inchampalli project report of June 1970) The depths of the river in the gorge is between 30 to 80m at flood time.  The hills rise with steep sides to heights upto 700 to 1000m and are clothed from the water’s edge to the summit with luxurious vegetations.  When Dr.Kari Terzaghi, the great soil scientist visited this place, he was a complete ecastacy and remarked that such sights are almost unique and unparalled.



The waters of the river Krishna and Godavari were allotted among the basin states as per the 1951 agreement.  After the reorganization of the states in 1956 there were major changes in the boundaries of the basin states and all attempts for an amicable settlement between the party states proved futile.  The Government of India, therefore, on 10-4-69 constituted the Godavari water disputes tribunal.

The tribunal could not take-up the hearing on sharing of Godavari water till April 1974 in view of its pre-occupation with similar issue on Krishna River.  In view of this no new project could be taken up by any state.  To resolve this crisis the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India on 19-7-1975 has convened a meeting of the Chief Ministers of party states which paved the way for concluding bilateral agreements.  These agreements were subsequently ratified on 19-12-75 under a common agreement.  Further agreements have also been concluded which were incorporated in the final adjudication of Godavari water disputes tribunal dated 7-7-80.

As per clause VI of the final order of the Tribunal.

i)                    the Polavaram project shall be cleared by the Central Water Commission as expeditiously as possible for FRL / MWL +150ft.

ii)                   the matter of design of the dam and its operation schedule is left to the Central Water Commission which itself decide keeping in view of all the agreements between the parties including the agreement dated 2-4-80 as far as practicable.

iii)                 If there is to be any change in the operation schedule as indicated in the agreement dated 2-4-80, it shall be made only after consultation with the states of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.  The design aspects shall however be left to the Central Water Commission.


AGREEMENT dated 2-4-1980 between the states of Andhra pradesh,Madhya pradesh and Orissa states thus:

To enable clearance of Polavaram Project,the following is agreed to:---

The polavaram project spill-way shall be designed for a flood discharging capacity of 36(thirty six)lakhs cusecs at the pond level of RL+140(one hundred-forty five)feet and not less than 20(twenty)lakh cusecs at pond level of RL+130(one hundred and thirty) feet .........To protect the lands and properties to be effected due to construction of the polavaram project above RL +150 (one hundred and fifty)feet in orissa and Madhya Pradesh,the state of Andhra pradesh shall (a)pay compensation towards all buildings and lands above Rl +150 ft.,which will be affected due to all effects including back-water sffect and rehabilitate the oustees  ect.,on the same pattern as below RL+150 ft., at the project cost. or (b)construct and maintain the necessary protection Embankments with adequate pumping arrangements and or drainage sluices.,the option for alternatives for (a) or (b) being exercised by the Orissa/Madhya pradesh at the time of constructin of polavaram project depending upon the location of each affected site.For damages or injury to lands beyond RL+150 ft.,A.P.state shall pay full compensation as assessed by the lconcerned District Collector.

The A.P. state agrees to fix permanent bench Marks connected to G.T.S.Bench Marks in Orissa and Madhya pradesh for RL+150 ft.,(one hundred fifty)feet as well as for back water effect,in both cases,an interval of approximate one kilometre all along the periphery of the polavaram reservoir.


Protection to establish and contemplated irrigation in Godavari  delta: The last project proposed in the Lower Godavari basin is a barrage a Polavaram which is about 8 miles below Inchampalli dam.  The canals of Polavaram barrage scheme follow on the same alignment as envisaged in the Rampadasagar project originally proposed in 1951 to serve the upland areas in Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari and Vizag districts.  The requirements  for the canals taking off from the Polavaram barrge as well as the supplies for the existing Godavari delta system will be met from the regulated releases from the power house at Inchampalli with an MDDL of 360.00, the FRL required for Inchampalli reservoir is +390.00.  The evaporation losses in the reservoir are about 80 TMC

Silt storage and dead storage:

The drainage area at Inchampalli is 1,00,300 sq.miles.  This area will be intercepted by three main storages at Pochampad on Godavari (35,425sq.miles) at Watra Badruka Talai on Pranahita (36,900 sq.miles) and at Bhopalapatnam on Indravthi (14,013 sq.miles) and at Potgal on Lower Manair (2,567 sq.miles) near Karimnagar.  Therefore the free catchment area at Inchampalli is 1,00,300-88,905=11395 sq.miles.  The rate of silting from the free catchment is reckoned at 75 acre per 100 sq.miles of catchment per year.  Further in the case of intercepted catchment, the rte of silting is assumed as 20 per cent of what is due from free catchment area.  Therefore to provide at least 200 years life before silting encroaches on live storage, a dead storage capacity of 190.00 TMC will be required as detailed below.

1.  11,395 x 75/100x 4840 x 9 x 200        =  75  TMC

2.  88,905 x 75/100x 5 x 4840 x9 x 200   = 115 TMC


                                                   Total       = 190 TMC


The corresponding dead storage level for 190 TMC is 359.50 or say 3 60.0 .  As it is a key structure on the main river, catering not only to direct ayacut but also has to ensure supplies to the ayacuts under the Polavaram and Dowlaiswaram barrage a life period of 200 years is considered essential.   

Extract  of.Shivaji Rao's  Talk at a SEMINAR on Water Management on 24-9-2006 ,Maruteru,W.Godavari .

 "I have  today  read the book on Sir Arthur Cotton in which some technical information has been presented by the other experts.[see page 78]
Mr.Walch in his book on Engineering works on Godavari Delta says"Godavari drains 115,000 sq.miles area and produces maximum flood of one and a half million cusecs[15 lakhs cusecs].As Godavari begins to wind amongst the spurs of the eastern ghats,it forces its way through a gorge which for 2 miles is so narrow that a stone may be thrown from either bank into the middle of the river.During floods,the rocky river bed is scoured to great depths of 100 to 200 feet and the high floods rise to 50 ft.,there is a torrent from 150 to 250 deep.On 16-9-1849,high flood occured,with 33.5 feet mark at Rajahmundry and 25.4 feet mark at Dowleshwaram.

When I asked an experienced person  on the Godavari Bank at Achanta about the depths of river banks above the river bed level,I was told that it varies from about 30 feet at polavaram to 40 feet at Rajahmundry , Dowleshwaram and Alamur and falls to 30 feet at Gannavaram and Achanta and will be 15 to 20 feet at Antarvedi  


Name of the site

Discharge in cusecs



(i) Without Dam:

      Polavaram Dam







94.88  (28.92)

165.57 (50.46)

166.10 (50.63)

(ii) With Dam (and with different pond levels during


(a)   Polavaram dam








140.00 (42.67)

170.09 (51.84)

170.75 (52.04)

 (b)   Polavaram dam






145.00 (44.20)

172.03 (52.44)

172.33 (52.53)  

c)   Polavaram dam






150.00 (45.72)

173.97 (53.03)

174.22 (53.10)  



Name of the site

Discharge in Cumecs


(30 lakh cusecs)


(36 lakh cusecs)


(48 lakhcusecs)



i) Without dam



28.06m (92.07ft)





47.9 m (157.2 ft)











61.76m (202.6ft)


ii) With the dam (with different pond levels due to floods)

a) Polavaram















b) Polavaram






52.18m (171.2 ft)









Note: The above  values are based upon the information from the Bachawat Tribunal Report and the calculations made by the author on the basis of the Advanced Numerical Methods using the Standard-step Method described by K.Subrahmanya in his standard book on flow in open channels.  


1]As per paras 102 and 103,of Bachawat Award,the CWC stated that KONTA faced for natural flood of 22 lakhs cusecs in 1966, an inundation level upto RL+46.6 m(152.88ft.).

2]Maharashtra argued that A.P.state calculated inundation for KONTA at RL+167.88 for

   Natural flood that rises to RL+173.83, with Polavaram dam height kept at RL+150 ft.

3]Based on peak flood of 33 lakh cusecs on 15-8-1986,A.P.state computed for 500-year

   Return flood period a peak flood of 36 lakh cusecs.

4]Peak Flood of 22 lakh cusecs on 20-9-2005 inGodavari caused flood wave to reach a       

    Level of 49.32 meters(161.8 ft.) as against a danger level of 48.77 meters(160 ft.) at

    Bhadrachalam and 42.24 meters(138.58 ft.) as against a danger level of 39.24 meters

    (128.74 ft.) at Kunavaram.

A number of villages have been affected and several of them are marooned. The broad details are as under: 

 In Khammam 110 villages were affected and 12 villages were marooned.

In East Godavari 105 villages were affected and 30 villages were marooned

In West Godavari district 100 villages were affected 30 villages were marooned

Name of district

No. of villages Affected

No of villages marooned




East Godavari



West Godavari



    In Orissa,7 villages were affected in Malkanagiri District and 11,000 people including

    600 from Motu village were evacuated to safer places.

    In Chattisgarh,5 villages were affected in Vijayapuri and KONTA taluks and 300

    people  were evacuated to safer places.  


5] For a peak flood of 28.5 lakh cusecs on 7-8-2006 in Godavari,inundation occurred in   

     many Villages in an unprecedented scale.

a)   More than 295 villages  in khammam were inundated  as against 205 estimated by A.P.state for a

     flood of 36 lakhs cusecs.  

b)  As against 12 villages estimated by A.P.state, Orissa and Chattisgarh claim that about 30 villages were      

 inundated in both the states.

c)  The Godavari flood flow was estimated at 3.5 meters per second or 12.5 Km.per hour.

d)  The flood travel time was estimated at 54 hours between Sriram Sagar and Dowleswaram,36 hours between Kaleswaram and Bhadrachalam,20 hours between Perur and and Bhadrachalam,18 hours between Bhadrachalam and Dowleswaram and 15 hours between Kunavaram and Dowleswaram. 

e )  As against 1.77 lakh oustees from 276 villages in A.p.state, 2.5 lakhs from 369 villages in A.P.state were affected in August,2006.Thus A.P.state has underestimated R&R scheme

f) As against land  likely to be submerged at 1.0 lakh acres as estimated by A.P.state,1.3 lakh acres was inundated in August,2006.

6)   The floods of August,2006 were an eye-opener to the officials of the A.P.state Government according to Deccan Chronicle dated 17-8-2006.  To enable the polavaram withstand bigger floods and to save Bhadrachalam even when Godavari and its tributaries like Penganga,Pranhita,Indravati and Sabari flood simultaneously,it is proposed to request CWC to design the project for a PMF of 48 to 50 lakhs cusecs. 

7)   According to a model,if polavaram is kept at RL+140 ft.,back-water at Bhadrachalam would be RL+186 ft.,and during the current floods Bhadrachalam touched RL+180 and water entered the town. Although high embankment walls were constructed to protect Bhadrachalam from the rising floods in Godavari the inflows through various streams entering into Godavari were subjected to back flow due to failure of the controlling shutters and also the failure of the pumpsets including the failure of power supply. This clearly shows that embankments along the river flanks subject to extensive floods cannot protect the villages and towns from getting inundated due to backwater flows from the tributary drains and streams that join the main river under spate.   

Since the extreme flood in Godavari will be more than 50 lakhs cusecs, as an adjunct, the discharge capacity of Dowleswaram Barrage would have to be  correspondingly increased.

8)   The reported assurance of CWC to A.P.state that Bhadrachalam will not have threat of submersion due to construction of polavaram dam is not correct. Similarly,the reported argument of CWC authorities that in the event of heavy floods,the water discharge would be regulated on the basis of flood warnings or anticipated inflows into the reservoir to avoid submergence of Bhadrachalam is highly impracticable as evinced by several failures of dams due to many causes including human,mechanical and other failures.   The magnitude of the probable maximum flood (PMF) is likely to increase by more than 20%  due to emerging damaging impacts of Global Warming that accelerate both intensity and duration of the cyclones and the floods due to such cyclones which contributed about  a meter depth of rainfall in one day in Mumbai 2years ago.  In fact,on Saturday (5-8-2006)  Kaleswaram recorded 630 mm.of rainfall in 24 hours.

9) The HINDU reported on 10-10-2006 that A.P.state proposed to construct a China-wall like embankment to protect Khammam and this structure will be 44 Km.long with a height of 189 feet,with a free board of 6 ft. above the level of 183.6 ft.touched  during the 35 lakh cusecs flood of August,1986.The cost is estimated at Rs.307 crores.The Government insisted that polavaram Dam will be able to discharge a peak flood of 49 lakh cusecs but the AP State Government must realise that the Central WAter Commission has adopted a 1000-year return flood for spillway design for Sardar Sarovar project and 10,000-year return flood for the Tehri dam whose failure is likely to cause the death of several lakhs of people in addition to large scale economic damages to crops and properties.   The AP State Government stated that  the 1986 kind floods occur once in 500 years while 49 lakh cusec floods occur once in 1000 years.  The basic mistake being committed by the AP state Government and the Central Government is to consider that the probable maximum flood (PMF) is based on hydrological and technological considerations and not on socio-economic and environmental considerations as followed for the design of the dam and the spillway in almost all the major countries in the world.  Since India is also member of the international committee on large dams it is the duty of the central water commission to revise the design flood of 50 lakhs cusecs calculated by it for the polavaram project to atleast 75 lakhs cusecs on the basis of the inflow flood of 1,70,000 cumecs adopted by the eminent hydrological experts of the national Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee who conducted the dam break analysis operations in June 1999 at the specific request of the Andhra Pradesh state Government for the purpose of preparing disaster management schemes, risk analysis and environmental management programmes as per the conditions stipulated under the regulations of the environmental impact assessment report and the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

Moreover the Central Water Commission while estimated 1000-year return flood for spillway design of the SArdar Sarovar Project concluded that for the catchment area of 88,000 sq.km of Narmada River, the maximum flood worked out to 87,000cumecs and this means that the peak flood estimate comes to about one cumec per sq.km area. Since Godavari catchment area is having similar characteristics and is adjacent to Narmada catchment in terms of meteorological and topographical features.The PMF at Polavaram under similar conditions comes to about 2 lakhs cumecswhich is equivalent  to about  75lakhs cusecs  and  if the  storage in polavaram is considered  as the incremental flood in case of a dam failure additional  reservoir -based flood comes to about 70,000 cumecs which is equivalent to about 25 lakhs cusecs and hence the inflow design flood for polavaram project must be taken at about 100 lakh cusecs  which is the actual floods estimated by the eminent hydrological experts of the national Institute of Hydrology in their report on dam break analysis for polavaram project submitted to the AP State Government as already stated above.


Design Flood:

For the design of hydraulic structures like aqueducts, pick up weirs, anicuts, barrages, minor dams, medium and major dam spillways.  The volume of the flood selected from economic considerations do not provide for handling the maximum possible flood from the catchment and hence they are designed for less severe flood because the damages likely to be caused by higher extreme  floods than the selected design flood may not be very serious.  Hence such selected flood used for the design is called the design flood. 

Spillway Design Flood (SDF): SDF spillway design flood may be considered as the design flood used for spillway design and its maximum discharge can be passed through the spillway without causing any damage to the structure.

Standard  Project Flood (SPF): SPF is defined as a flood resulting from a severe combination of Meteorological and hydrological factors reasonably applicable to the region.  However extremely rare combinations of meteorological and hydrological factors are excluded.  It is used where failure of the structure could not cause severe damages and its value is 40% to 60% of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) for the same drainage area.

Probable Maximum Flood (PMF): PMF is that extreme flood which is physically possible in a region due to extreme combinations including rare events of Meteorological and hydrological factors.  PMF is used when failure of the dam would cause considerable loss of life and catastrophic damage and hence complete security from potential floods is essential.

Since design criteria for selecting the design flood for different structures like anicuts, barrages, small, medium and large dams vary from one country to another the guidelines formulated by the Central Water Commission [CWC] are presented in the following table.





Recommended design flood


Spillways for major and medium projects with storages more than60Mm3

a) PMF determined by unit hydrograph and probable maximum precipitation (PMP)

b)     If (a) is not applicable or possible flood-frequency method with T = 1000years


Permanent barrage and minor dams with capacity less than 60Mm3

a) SPF determined by unit hydrograph and standard project storm (SPS) which is usually the largest recorded storm in the region.

b)    Flood with a return period of 100 years (a) or (b)  whichever gives higher value


Pickup weirs

Flood with a return period of 100 or 50 years depending on the importance  of the project.


Aqueducts   (a) Waterway

(b) Foundations and free board

Flood with T = 50 years

Flood with T = 100 years


Project with scanty or inadequate data

Empirical formulae

Ref: CWC India “Estimation of DesignFlood Peak”, Report No.1/73, New Delhi, 1973.

Similar guidelines for design floods used for fixing the  spillway capacity of dams issued by the Indian Bureau of Standards in 1985 are presented in the following table



Gross storage (Mm3)

Hydraulic head (m)


0.5 to 10.0

7.5 to 12.0


10.0 to 60.0

12.0 to 30.0






Size/Class (based on Table 7.9 (a)

Inflow design flood for safety


100-year flood


Standard project flood (SPF)


Probable Maximum flood (PMF)


Hydraulic Head : Hydraulic head is defined as the difference between the maximum water level on the upstream and the normal average flood level on the downstream side of the dam.

Ref: Indian Bureau of Standards “Guidelines for fixing spillway capacity” IS:11223-1985





Subject:     Design flood study for Polavaram project (Andhra Pradesh)


The  hydrological studies of Polavaram project are under examination. The project authorities had submitted the updated and revised project report in April 2005.  Though the comments on the revised project report were communicated to the project authorities from time to time, the replies to the comments were not found to be satisfactory, as these did not contain the updated studies with respect to the current data.  These studies were also not as per the prevailing design practices and provisions given in the relevant BIS code.

In the earlier studies, the project authorities proposed a design flood of 80,000 cumecs (36 lakh cusecs).  These studies were based on flood frequency approach and the observed data for the period 1981-1995 was used to obtain flood of 500 year return period.  Central Water Commission accepted this estimated flood of 80,000 cumecs in 1979.  From the records, it is found that this flood was accepted when the structure proposed at the project location was a barrage.  In the revised reports submitted earlier, same design flood i.e. 80,000 cumecs has been recommended and no revised studies were carried out.

The project authorities have now submitted the design flood studies for Polavaram project.  These studies have been examined and a brief is as given below.  The project report has been divided into seven chapters.  The extract of each chapter is explained below.

Chapter-1  contains the description of Godavari basin as a whole.  In this chapter the physiographic and climatic characteristics of the basin, relevant to hydrological studies have been described.

Chapter-2 describes the methods of estimating the design flood and also the design flood criteria as per BIS code 11223 – 1995 “Fixing the spillway capacity of the dams”.

Chapter-3  describes the estimation of design storm parameters.  In this chapter, details of observed rainfall for a number of stations in the basin have been given along with various statistical information such as, sub basin/district-wise normal monsoon rainfall etc. Storm studies have been carried out based on observed storm data for a number of heavy rainfall storms, likely to yield probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP).Storm of August 1986 has been finally considered as the candidate storm for working out Standard Project Precipitation (SPS) values.  This storm is said to cover 70% of total area.  Remaining 30% of the area is covered by independent catchment-specific storm data.  The justification of selecting the candidate storms has been given on page 39 and 40 of the report along with a reference to an international publication.  The project authorities discussed some aspects of storm studies during the course of their study and broad guidelines regarding framing this chapter was given by this Dte.      (Department).   The storm studies contained in chapter-3 are in order.

Chapter-4 describes the development of the flood model.  The entire catchments area has been sub-divided into 33 sub catchments, 10 sub basins and 8 nodal points.  The unit hydrographs for the sub catchments has been derived using the observed flood events.  The reasons for resorting to synthetic unit hydrograph method are presumed to be non-availability of requisite short interval rainfall data.  The flood model thus developed is by and large in order.   The criteria for adopting the channel routing parameters have also been described in Chapter-4 and are by and large in order.

Chapter-5 gives the computation details of working out flood of each sub-catchment, channel routing and reservoir routing of flood from each-sub-catchment to arrive at flood at the project location.  These computations are basically the product of unit hydrograph and storms studies.

As regards reservoir routing, it is observed that routing of inflows has been done at three reservoirs namely Nizam Sagar (Manjira), Sriram Sagar (Godavari) and Lower Manner (Manner). Routing  of floods for the projects in Maharashtra state has not been done, presumably due to want of requisite data from Maharashtra State Authority.

 The computational details of routing of inflow through Sriram Sagar and Lower Manner have been checked in the Department.  Using project specific data,  it is found that results given in the report are more or less similar to the results obtained in this Department, using specific reservoir data.  The procedure to compute the design flood is in order. 

As per the Hydl., studies carried out in this Department, the design flood peak for Polavaram project comes out to the order of 141535 (about 50 lakh cusecs) cumecs, against the value of 134858 cumecs (about 48 lakh cusecs) worked out by the project authority.

Chapter-6 gives the flood frequency studies using the annual flood peaks for the period 1972-2000 observed at project site.  Based on these studies, the summary of the result is given at page 271 of the report which estimates the design flood peak values from 85,000 cumecs to 1,68,000 cumecs depending upon the type of distribution and the return period. 

The flood frequency study for the purpose of PMF is only an academic exercise and is generally not recommended.  It is just to have some comparison of return period flood with PMF It is also to be seen that these flood peaks are the controlled releases from the upstream projects and do not give the natural behaviour of the flood phenomena of the entire basin and as such these estimates are biased estimates.  In view of above, the design flood peak of 141435 cumecs is recommended to be used in the design of spillway.

The flood hydrograph and flood hydrograph ordinates to be used in further studies corresponding to the revised flood peak are enclosed at annexure-I.

In addition to the above, the flood hydrograph and flood hydrograph ordinates corresponding 50- year return period are also enclosed.   In deriving 50-year return period flood  hydrograph, it is assumed that catchment downstream of Sriram Sagar project (constituting about 70% of the total catchment) contributes towards the 50 year return period flood and the flood generated from upstream catchment will be observed in the upstream absorbed in upstream reservoirs/channel.  The flood Hydrograph and flood hydrograph ordinates are enclosed at annexure-2


  1. The design flood studies have been carried out using synthetic unit hydrograph due to non-availability of short duration rainfall data.  These studies need to be validated as and when sufficient short duration rainfall data is collected.
  2. The routing parameters have been worked out assuming flood velocity in different segments of the catchment and general practices used to runoff data.  These studies may be viewed subsequently for the improvement, when all required data is available.
  3. In the present studies, reservoir routing of all the project have not been studied to ascertain the dampening effect.

Suggestions for review of design flood for upstream projects:

It is proposed that the project authorities may take up the review flood studies of major projects upstream of Polavaram.  This is important because Polavaram is a terminal project and in the event of higher flood impinging various project locations may cause a catastrophic cascade effect.  The studies carried out by project authorities indicate that flood of higher magnitude can hit at upstream locations.  To take necessary action against such eventualities it is essential that detailed flood studies may be carried out for all the major projects in the basin the design flood studies for the upstream projects have been carried at different points of time with different data sets and may have significant effect in view of the present studies carried out for Polavaram project.  On the basis of revised flood studies for all the upstream projects, where the spillway discharging capacity is short of revised  design flood, action plan can be prepared to handle higher design flood than the existing capacities.

This is issued with the approval of Chief Engineer (HSO), CWC.               

New Delhi                                                                                                      (RK GUPTA)   

Oct-Nov 2007                                                                                                    Director



HYDERABAD: The CPI(M) State Committee has asked the Government to explore alternatives for the construction of Indirasagar (Polavaram) project as the present design will adversely impact the livelihood of lakhs of people, tribals in particular. The two-day meeting of the State Committee that commenced here on Monday observed that the design was not in tune with the probable maximum flood report of the Central Water Commission, national rehabilitation policy and draft national tribal policy.

Maximum flood The probable maximum flood in the design was pegged at 47.67 lakh cusecs which was over 30 per cent higher than the 36 lakh cusecs maximum flood recorded in the Godavari's history. Given the huge damage incurred during the recent flood that recorded 28 lakh cusecs of flow, the damage that would be caused by 47.67 lakhs would be enormous.

Harmful impacts of Flood Banks While the Government was claiming that strengthening of flood banks would be a solution, it ought to recall the letter written by former Principal of Administrative Staff College of India E.A.S. Sarma that mentioned about the harmful impact of the flood banks.

RRehabilitation  policy The party urged the Government to consider the recent national rehabilitation policy that made it mandatory to conduct a social impact study of projects. The draft national policy on tribals was against permitting any major project that would affect more than 50,000 tribals whereas over one lakh tribals would be displaced by the Indirasagar project. In view of this, the party asked the Government to explore alternatives that would ensure minimum submergence.



(See Sub-para 1 of para 2)

Procedure for Public Hearing


(1)Process of Public Hearing: -Whoever apply for environmental clearance of projects, shall submit to the concerned State Pollution Control Board twenty sets of the following documents namely: -

(i)An executive summary containing the salient features of the project both in English as well as local language.

(ii)Form XIII prescribed under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975 where discharge of sewage, trade effluents, treatment of water in any form, is required.

(iii)Form I prescribed under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Under Territory Rules, 1983 where discharge of emissions are involved in any process, operation or industry.

(iv)Any other information or document which is necessary in the opinion of the Board for their final disposal of the application.

(2)Notice of Public Hearing: -

(i)The State Pollution Control Board shall cause a notice for environmental public hearing which shall be published in at least two newspapers widely circulated in the region around the project, one of which shall be in the vernacular language of the locality concerned.State Pollution Control Board shall mention the date, time and place of public hearing.Suggestions, views, comments and objections of the public shall be invited within thirty days from the date of publication of the notification.

(ii)All persons including bona fide residents, environmental groups and others located at the project site/sites of displacement/sites likely to be affected can participate in the public hearing.They can also make oral/written suggestions to the State Pollution Control Board.

Explanation: -For the purpose of the paragraph person means: -

(a)any person who is likely to be affected by the grant of environmental clearance;

(b)any person who owns or has control over the project with respect to which an application has been submitted for environmental clearance;

(c)any association of persons whether incorporated or not like to be affected by the project and/or functioning in the filed of environment;

(d)any local authority within any part of whose local limits is within the neighbourhood, wherein the project is proposed to be located.

(3)Composition of public hearing panel: -The composition of Public Hearing Panel may consist of the following, namely: -

(i)Representative of State Pollution Control Board;

(ii)District Collector or his nominee;

(iii)Representative of State Government dealing with the subject;

(iv)Representative of Department of the State Government dealing with Environment;

(v)Not more than three representatives of the local bodies such as Municipalities or panchayats;

(vi)Not more than three senior citizens of the area nominated by the District Collector.

(4)Access to the Executive Summary:- The concerned persons shall be provided access to the Executive Summaryof the project at the following places, namely:-

i)District Collector Office;

(ii)District Industry Centre;

(iii)In the Office of the Chief Executive Officers of Zila Praishad or Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation/Local body as the case may be;

(iv)In the head office of the concerned State Pollution Control Board and its concerned Regional Office.

(v)In the concerned Department of the State Government dealing with the subject of environment.

(5)Time period for completion of public hearing:

The public hearing shall be completed within a period of 60 days from the date of receipt of complete documents as required under paragraph 1.


Foot note: -The Principal Notification was published vide number S.O. 60 (E) dated 27th January 1994 and subsequently amended vide numbers S.O. 356(E) dated 4th may, 1994, S.O. 318 (E) dated 10th April, 1997, S.O. 73 (E) dated 27th January, 2000 a, S.O. 1119 (E) dated 13th December 2000, S.O. 737 (E) dated 1st August 2001 and S.O. 1148 (E) dated 21st November 2001.



(Published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part-II, and Section 3, Sub-section (ii)

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS   New Delhi 14th September, 2006)


At present there was a controversy on holding public hearing for embankments project estimated at Rs.700 crores as a supplementary project of the Polavaram dam.  The AP Chief Minister is declaring that AP State cannot hold this public hearing for their Polavaram project in Orissa and Chattisgarh.  The Orissa and Chattisgarh state Governments are refusing to hold public hearing on this project because they have filed cases in the supreme Court against the Polavaram dam and hence it may be subjudice.  But the Central Government Ministry of Environment and Forest issued a notice to the AP State Government why they are going ahead with the Polavaram dam project without holding public hearings on the embankments project in Orissa and Chattisgarh.  In the normal conditions the AP State Government should have maintained cordial relations with Orissa and Chattisgarh on this project for securing their approval for the main dam project and also this supplementary embankments project.  Similarly they require the consent of these upper states even for the 960 MW hydro-power project which is part of the Polavaram dam project.  Now the AP State Government has taken a posture of confrontation with the upper states and is demanding the Union Government to use its good offices to convince the upper states to the construction of polvaram dam project estimated at Rs.16,000 crores.  Since the state Governments are not coming forward to hold public hearings in Orissa and Chattisgarh the Union Ministry of Environment has to take a decision to employ an independent agency like the Central Empowered Committee created by the Supreme Court for conducting the field studies of Polavaram project or employ some other independent agencies which can undertake this work.   Even if these independent agencies failed  to conduct public hearing proceedings then the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has to take a crucial decision that under the prevailing circumstances the public hearing need not be conducted for the Polavaram project including the embankments project.  Under the Federal set up it is a remote possibility for the Union Government to take such a drastic step.  On the other hand the Union Ministry of Environment can hold a joint meeting of all the Chief Ministers of Orissa, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh and work out an agreeable solution which comprises of construction of 3 barrages in place of the Polavaram dam project as proposed by Orissa Government which has considered the proposal made by the former Engineer in Chief, Sri.T.Hanumantha Rao who worked as Chief Engineer for Irrigation for Andhra Pradesh Government and is also an international consultant on Irrigation projects. 

Under these circumstances there is a need to create awareness among the farmers and the educated people in Andhra Pradesh on the urgent need to get the Polavaram project materialized and for this purpose the real culprits who are coming in the way of materialization of this project can be identified and their influence should be eliminated in the state Government so that the waters from Godavari can be positively diverted into Krishna river basin to save the farmers from drought conditions likely to prevail in Krishna due to diversion of Krishna waters on a large scale by the upper states of Karnataka and Maharashtra who have already built several irrigation projects to divert more water illegally by violating the provisions of the Bachawat Tribunal Award.

 In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) and clause (v) ofsub-section (2) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, read with clause (d) of sub-rule (3) of rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 and in supersession of the notification number S.O. 60 (E) dated the 27th January, 1994, this specified procedure is followed.

7(i) The environmental clearance process for new projects will comprise of a maximum of four  stages, all of which may not apply to particular cases as set forth below in this notification. These

four stages in sequential order are:-

• Stage (1) Screening (Only for Category ‘B’ projects and activities)

• Stage (2) Scoping

• Stage (3) Public Consultation

• Stage (4) Appraisal

I. Stage (1) - Screening:

The Ministry of Environment and Forests shall issue appropriate guidelines from time to time on different categories of project that require environmental clearances.

II. Stage (2) - Scoping:

(i) “Scoping”: refers to the process by which the Expert Appraisal Committee in the case of Category ‘A’ projects or activities,  determine detailed and comprehensive Terms Of Reference (TOR) addressing all relevant environmental concerns for the preparation of an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report in respect of the project or activity for which prior environmental clearance is sought.

The Expert Appraisal Committee shall determine the Terms of Reference on the basis of the information furnished in the prescribed application Form1/Form 1A including Terns of Reference proposed by the applicant, a site visit by a sub- group of Expert Appraisal  Committee only if considered necessary by the Expert Appraisal Committee, Terms of Reference suggested by the applicant if furnished and other information that may be available with the Expert Appraisal Committee.

(ii) The Terms of Reference (TOR) shall be conveyed to the applicant by the Expert Appraisal Committee within sixty days of the receipt of Form 1. In the case of Category A Hydroelectric projects Item 1(c) (i) of the Schedule the Terms of Reference shall be conveyed along with the clearance for pre-construction activities .If the Terms of Reference are not finalized and conveyed to the applicant within sixty days of the receipt of Form 1, the Terms of Reference suggested by the applicant shall be deemed as the final Terms of Reference approved for the EIA studies.

The approved Terms of Reference shall be displayed on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the concerned State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority.

(iii) Applications for prior environmental clearance may be rejected by the regulatory

authority concerned on the recommendation of the EAC or SEAC concerned at this stage itself.   In case of such rejection, the decision together with reasons for the same shall be communicated to the applicant in writing within sixty days of the receipt of the application.

III. Stage (3) - Public Consultation:

(i) “Public Consultation” refers to the process by which the concerns of local affected persons and others who have plausible stake in the environmental impacts of the project or activity are ascertained with a view to taking into account all the material concerns in the project or activity design as appropriate. All Category ‘A’ and Category B1 projects or activities shall undertake Public Consultation, except the following:-

(a) modernization of irrigation projects (item 1(c) (ii) of the Schedule).

(b) all projects or activities located within industrial estates or parks (item 7(c)

of the Schedule) approved by the concerned authorities, and which are not

disallowed in such approvals.

(c) expansion of Roads and Highways (item 7 (f) of the Schedule) which do not

involve any further acquisition of land.

(d) all Building /Construction projects/Area Development projects and Townships

(e) all Category ‘B2’ projects and activities.

(f) all projects or activities concerning national defence and security or involving other strategic considerations as determined by the Central Government.

(ii) The Public Consultation shall ordinarily have two components comprising of:-

(a) a public hearing at the site or in its close proximity- district wise, to be carried out in manner prescribed in Appendix IV, for ascertaining concerns of local affected persons;

(b) obtain responses in writing from other concerned persons having a plausible stake in the environmental aspects of the project or activity.

(iii) the public hearing at, or in close proximity to, the site(s) in all cases shall be conducted by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or the Union territory Pollution Control Committee (UTPCC) concerned in the specified manner and forward the proceedings to the regulatory authority concerned within 45(forty five ) of a request to the effect from the applicant.

(iv) in case the State Pollution Control Board or the Union territory Pollution Control Committee concerned does not undertake and complete the public hearing within the specified period, and/or does not convey the proceedings of the public hearing within the prescribed period  directly to the regulatory authority concerned as above, the regulatory authority shall engage another public agency or authority which is not subordinate to the regulatory authority, to complete the process within a further period of forty five days,.

(v) If the public agency or authority nominated under the sub paragraph (iii) above reports to the regulatory authority concerned that owing to the local situation, it is not possible to conduct the public hearing in a manner which will enable the views of the concerned local persons to be freely expressed, it shall report the facts in detail to the concerned regulatory authority, which may, after due consideration of the report and other reliable information that it may have, decide that the public consultation in the case need not include the public hearing.

(vi) For obtaining responses in writing from other concerned persons having a plausible stake in the environmental aspects of the project or activity, the concerned regulatory authority and the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or the Union territory Pollution Control Committee (UTPCC) shall invite responses from such concerned persons by placing on their website the Summary EIA report prepared in the format given in Appendix IIIA by the applicant along with a copy of the application in the prescribed form, within seven days of the receipt of a written request for arranging the public hearing. Confidential information including non-disclosable or legally privileged information involving Intellectual Property Right, source specified in the application shall not be placed on the web site. The regulatory authority concerned may also use other appropriate media for ensuring wide publicity about the project or activity. The  regulatory authority shall, however, make available on a written request from any concerned person the Draft EIA report for inspection at a notified place during normal office hours till the date of the public hearing. All the responses received as part of this public consultation process shall be forwarded to the applicant through the quickest available means.

(vii) After completion of the public consultation, the applicant shall address all the material environmental concerns expressed during this process, and make appropriate changes in the draft EIA and EMP. The final EIA report, so prepared, shall be submitted by the applicant to the concerned regulatory authority for appraisal. The applicant may alternatively submit a supplementary report to draft EIA and EMP addressing all the concerns expressed during the public consultation.

IV. Stage (4) - Appraisal:

(i) Appraisal means the detailed scrutiny by the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee of the application and other documents like the Final EIA report, outcome of the public consultations including public hearing proceedings, submitted by the applicant to the regulatory authority concerned for grant of environmental clearance. This appraisal shall be made by Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee concerned in a transparent manner in a proceeding to which the applicant shall be invited for furnishing necessary clarifications in person or through an authorized representative. On conclusion of this proceeding, the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee concerned shall make categorical recommendations to the regulatory authority concerned either for grant of prior environmental clearance on stipulated terms and conditions, or rejection of the application for prior environmental clearance, together with reasons for the same.

(ii) The appraisal of all projects or activities which are not required to undergo public consultation, or submit an Environment Impact Assessment report, shall be carried out on the basis of the prescribed application Form 1 and Form 1A as applicable, any other relevant validated information available and the site visit wherever the same is considered as necessary by the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee concerned.

(iii) The appraisal of an application be shall be completed by the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee concerned within sixty days of the receipt of the final Environment Impact Assessment report and other documents or the receipt of Form 1 and Form 1 A, where public consultation is not necessary and the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee shall be placed before the competent authority for a final decision within the next fifteen days .The prescribed procedure for appraisal is given in Appendix V ;

 8.Grant or Rejection of Prior Environmental Clearance (EC):

(vi) Deliberate concealment and/or submission of false or misleading information or data which is material to screening or scoping or appraisal or decision on the application shall make the application liable for rejection, and cancellation of prior environmental clearance granted on that basis. Rejection of an application or cancellation of a prior environmental clearance already granted, on such ground, shall be decided by the regulatory authority, after giving a personal hearing to the applicant, and following the principles of natural justice.


1.0 The Public Hearing shall be arranged in a systematic, time bound and transparent manner ensuring widest possible public participation at the project site(s) or in its close proximity District -wise, by the concerned State Pollution Control Board (SPCB)

2. 0 The Process:

2.1 The Applicant shall make a request through a simple letter to the Member Secretary of the SPCB or Union Territory Pollution Control Committee, in whose jurisdiction the project is located, to arrange the public hearing within the prescribed statutory period. In case the  project site is extending beyond a State or Union Territory, the public hearing is mandated in each State or Union Territory in which the project is sited and the Applicant shall make separate requests to each concerned SPCB or UTPCC for holding the public hearing as per this procedure.

2.2 The Applicant shall enclose with the letter of request, at least 10 hard copies and an equivalent number of soft (electronic) copies of the draft EIA Report with the generic structure given in Appendix III including the Summary Environment Impact Assessment report in English and in the local language, prepared strictly in accordance with the Terms of Reference communicated after Scoping (Stage-2). Simultaneously the applicant shall arrange to forward copies, one hard and one soft, of the above draft EIA Report along with the Summary EIA report to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and to the following

authorities or offices, within whose jurisdiction the project will be located:

(a) District Magistrate/s

(b) Zila Parishad or Municipal Corporation

(c) District Industries Office

(d) Concerned Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests

2.3 On receiving the draft Environmental Impact Assessment report, the abovementioned

authorities except the MoEF, shall arrange to widely publicize it within their respective jurisdictions requesting the interested persons to send their comments to the concerned regulatory authorities. They shall also make available the draft EIA Report for inspection electronically or otherwise to the public during normal office hours till the Public Hearing is over. The Ministry of Environment and Forests shall promptly display the Summary of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment report on its website, and also make the full draft EIA available for reference at a notified place during normal office hours in the Ministry at Delhi.

2.4 The SPCB or UTPCC concerned shall also make similar arrangements for giving   publicity about the project within the State/Union Territory and make available the Summary of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment report (Appendix III A) for inspection in select offices or public libraries or panchayats etc. They shall also additionally make available a copy of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment report to the above five  authorities/offices viz, Ministry of Environment and Forests, District Magistrate etc.

 3.0 Notice of Public Hearing:

3.1 The Member-Secretary of the concerned SPCB or UTPCC shall finalize the date, time and exact venue for the conduct of public hearing within 7(seven) days of the date of receipt of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment report from the project proponent, and advertise the same in one major National Daily and one Regional vernacular Daily. A minimum notice period of 30(thirty) days shall be provided to the public for furnishing their


3.2 The advertisement shall also inform the public about the places or offices where the public could access the draft Environmental Impact Assessment report and the Summary

Environmental Impact Assessment report before the public hearing.

3.3 No postponement of the date, time, venue of the public hearing shall be undertaken, unless some untoward emergency situation occurs and only on the recommendation of the concerned District Magistrate the postponement shall be notified to the public through the same National and Regional vernacular dailies and also prominently displayed at all the identified offices by the concerned SPCB or Union Territory Pollution Control Committee; 3.4 In the above exceptional circumstances fresh date, time and venue for the public consultation shall be decided by the Member –Secretary of the concerned SPCB or UTPCC

only in consultation with the District Magistrate and notified afresh as per procedure under

3.1 above.

4.0 The Panel

4.1 The District Magistrate or his or her representative not below the rank of an Additional District Magistrate assisted by a representative of SPCB or UTPCC, shallsupervise and preside over the entire public hearing process.

5.0 Videography

5.1 The SPCB or UTPCC shall arrange to video film the entire proceedings. A copy of the videotape or a CD shall be enclosed with the public hearing proceedings while forwarding it to the Regulatory Authority concerned.

6.0 Proceedings

6.1 The attendance of all those who are present at the venue shall be noted and annexed with the final proceedings.

6.2 There shall be no quorum required for attendance for starting the proceedings.

6.3 A representative of the applicant shall initiate the proceedings with a presentation on the project and the Summary EIA report.

6.4 Every person present at the venue shall be granted the opportunity to seek

information or clarifications on the project from the Applicant. The summary of the public hearing proceedings accurately reflecting all the views and concerns expressed shall be recorded by the representative of the SPCB or UTPCC and read over to the audience at the

end of the proceedings explaining the contents in the vernacular language and the agreed minutes shall be signed by the District Magistrate or his or her representative on the same

day and forwarded to the SPCB/UTPCC concerned.

6.5 A Statement of the issues raised by the public and the comments of the Applicant shall also be prepared in the local language and in English and annexed to the proceedings:

6.6 The proceedings of the public hearing shall be conspicuously displayed at the office of the Panchyats within whose jurisdiction the project is located, office of the concerned Zila Parishad, District Magistrate ,and the SPCB or UTPCC . The SPCB or UTPCC shall also display the proceedings on its website for general information. Comments, if any, on the proceedings which may be sent directly to the concerned regulatory authorities and the Applicant concerned.

 7.0 Time period for completion of public hearing

7.1 The public hearing shall be completed within a period of 45 (forty five) days from date of receipt of the request letter from the Applicant. Therefore the SPCB or UTPCC concerned shall sent the public hearing proceedings to the concerned regulatory authority within 8(eight) days of the completion of the public hearing .The applicant may also directly forward a copy of the approved public hearing proceedings to the regulatory authority concerned along with the final Environmental Impact Assessment report or supplementary report to the draft EIA report prepared after the public hearing and public consultations.

7.2 If the SPCB or UTPCC fails to hold the public hearing within the stipulated 45(forty five) days, the Central Government in Ministry of Environment and Forests for Category ‘A’ project or activity and the State Government or Union Territory Administration for Category ‘B’ project or activity at the request of the SEIAA, shall engage any other agency or authority to complete the process, as per procedure laid down in this notification.

                                                              DAM SAFETY IN INDIA

[4th.Editor’s Conference on Social sector Issues-28th.August,2003.Union Water Resources Ministry]

In India there are 4050 completed large dams and 475 under construction. these large storage dams are owned ,constructed and maintained by the State Governments. There are some organizations like Bhakra-Bias Management Board, Damodar valley corporation and National hydro-Electric Corporation, who also own dams and operate them. The State governments operate their dams primarily through their irrigation/water resources department. Other state organizations like state Electricity Boards, state Power corporations, Municipal corporations also own and operate some dams. The safety of of the dams in India is the principal concern of the state Agencies/Organisations who own the dams and are involved in various aspects of their investigations ,planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance.

However ,as per the now proposed  Dam Safety Legislation, the overall responsibility of the safety of the dam is with the state Government in whose territory it is situated.

As the practices of dam safety can vary from state to state, the centre has been working towards evovlving unified practices of dam safety and has recommended its implementation by all states/Organisations.

DSO:The Dam Safety Organisation[DSO]is functioning under Central Water ommission[CWC]

Since May,1979.

National Committee on Dam Safety:Government of India,Ministry of Water Resources,has also constituted the National Committee on Dam Safety in October,1987.

The terms of reference of the Committee are as under:

[a] To mnitor the follow-up action on the report on Dam Safety Procedures both at the Centre and state level.

[b]To oversee dam safety activities in various states and suggest improvements to bring dam safety practices in line with latest state-of-art consistent with Indian conditions.

[c]To act as a forum of exchange of views on techniques adopted for remedial measures to relieve distress.

DSO[CWC] Guide-lines on Dam Safety:Guidelines on various aspects of dam safety have been issued from the Dam safety Organisation[CWC] at centre. The Guidelines on inspection of dams consist of a two-phase inspection and investigation programme.

PHASE I:phase –I is an inspection to assess the general conditions of a dam and to determine the need for any additional engineering investigation and analysis of both structural and hydraulic nature.It consists of a visual examination of the dam and a review of available engineering data,including instrumentation and operating records.

PHASE II :phase II investigations are performed where the evaluated results of Phase I inspection indicate the need for additional investigations and studies.It includes,all additional visual examinations,measurements,foundation,exploration and testing,material testing,hydrologic and hydraulic analysis and structural stability analyses[including seismic]deemed essential to fully evaluate the safety of the dam.

Dam Break Analysis Group[DBAG]in CWC:In order to carry out Dam Break Studies and preparation of Emergency Action Plans[EAP/EMP**] and also to guide the various states in this new field of activity,the Dam Break Analysis Group[DBAG]started functioning in CWC from November,1990.

** For details on preparation of Emergency Action Plans,prof.T.Shivaji Rao,the author of this article suggests to the readers to see  the  following WEB SITES:









 http://www.crisp.nus.edu.sg/~acrs2001/pdf/154PETCH.pdf    [Thailand Dam failure case]


Dam Safety Assurance and Rehabilitation Project[DSARP]:In order to have an effective dam safety assurance programme in the states,the Government of India implemented a Dam safety Assurance and Rehabilitation Project[DSARP] with the World Bank  assistance in 1991.Four states,namely,Madhya Pradesh,Rajasthan,Orissa, and Tamilnadu along with CWC[DSO]participated in the project which was completed in 1999.

   Under this project,basic dam safety facilities like providing access roads,back-up power,instrumentation,installation of communication system,stockpiling of emergency material etc., have been provided at 182 dams in the 4 participating states which also include multi-purpose dams,including hydro-electricity. In respect of thirty-three[33] dams identified,remedial merasures have been completed under this project and these have come to the desired safety level,reducing the risk of adverse environmental impact on property and people living downstream.Likely loss of reservoir capacities has been restored to provide assured irrigation/water supply/power generation.

 A proposal for the second phase of the earlier World Bank assisted DSARP is also under consideration.