INTER-LINKING OF KRISHNA-GODAVARI BASINS JAGAN’S PLAN TO DRIVE AWAY DROUGHT IN RAYALASEEMA

PARCHED LANDS TO TURN FERTILE

CHIEF MINISTER CONCERNED OVER LOW WATER STORAGE.

PROPOSAL CONCEIVED TO IRRIGATE RAYALASEEMA.

DETERMINED TO TAKE UP THE NEW PROJECT IN SPITE OF FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS.

EX-CM CHANDRABABU EXPRESSES CONCERN.

In a step towards inter-linking of Krishna-Godavari basins, the YSRC Government has decided to construct a balancing reservoir at Bollapalli in Guntur district at an estimated cost of Rs 60,000 crore. The objective of the proposed balancing reservoir with a capacity of 150 tmc is to divert Godavari water from Polavaram to the Banakacherla head regulator.

As per the proposal, around 23,000 cusecs, two TMC per day (210 tmc), of  water in 105 days will be diverted from river Godavari to the Banakacherla head regulator. Apart from stabilising irrigation water supply to 9.61 lakh acres under the Nagarjunasagar right canal ayacut, the project will irrigate two lakh acres in Kanigiri and Darsi constituencies of Prakasam district under NSP Phase- II and also cater to the drinking water needs of Prakasam and Guntur districts. Veligonda Project, KC Canal, TGP, SRBC Complex will also be supplemented from the Banakacherla regulator, an official release stated.

Result of extensive study

After studying the daily gauge data of the Godavari for the past 15 years, the WAPCOS estimated that the average flood days with the availability of 1,200 cusecs flow (3.7 TMC) at Polavaram gauge station was arrived as 105 days. The government decided to make use of the Godavari water flowing into the sea and came up with the plan to construct a reservoir at Bollapalli.

As per the preliminary planning, Godavari water will be diverted to the Krishna through Polavaram right main canal. From there it will be diverted to Nagarjunasagar right canal and then to the proposed reservoir at Bollapalli by lifting water at ‘chainage’ KM 114.500 of Nagarjunasagar right canal. From Bollapalli, water will be supplied to Veligonda reservoir and a tunnel will be built in Nallamala forest to take water to the Banakacherla head regulator.

Priority To Irrigation Projects

Meanwhile, Jagan also underscored the need for completion of the irrigation projects on priority basis. He was quoted as saying, “Notwithstanding financial constraints, we should complete the irrigation projects on a priority basis. We should be very cautious in utilisation of financial resources. First priority should be given to those projects which yield desired results immediately after completion of the works and funds should be spent on the projects accordingly.”

Officials said that works on most of his Jalayagnam scheme of the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy government were pending due to land acquisition problems and delay in getting clearance from the forest department.

Unhappy Over Reservoirs

The Chief Minister went through the progress of various ongoing irrigation projects as well as those proposed to be taken up and expressed dissatisfaction over some of the reservoirs, particularly those in Rayalaseema, not being filled to the full storage level despite prolonged flood in river Krishna.

He said it was sad that reservoirs are not full even though floods continued for several days. He instructed officials to prepare an action plan for increasing the capacity of canals carrying water to reservoirs in Rayalaseema from Srisailam project submit a detailed report for filling all the reservoirs on Krishna river within 40 days by increasing the capacity of canals.

Officials said that against the full capacity of 12.44 TMC in Gorakallu reservoir they could fill only up to 9 TMC so far as they need forest department clearance to fill it to the full capacity. Similarly, Owk reservoir also needed forest clearance, and so far they could fill up to 3.3 TMC of water while its capacity is 4.15 TMC.

When the officials informed him that 5,000 cusecs of water had to be released from Telugu Ganga project to SPVB reservoir in Kadapa, only 1,300 to 2,000 cusecs is being released, Jagan asked them to prepare an action plan to rectify the problem.

Relief And Rehabilitation Works

He also directed the officials to complete the relief and rehabilitation works in Velugonda, Gandikota and CBR projects and fill them to their full capacity. Earlier, the officials explained to the Chief Minister about the present condition and the water levels in the reservoirs of Krishna, Godavari and Penna basins.

Chandrababu voices his concerns

Telugu Desam Party national president and Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu has opposed the proposal to link the Godavari and the Krishna in Telangana, and instead favoured a tunnel through Nallamala forest to take water to Banakacharla, the gateway to Rayalaseema. He said intellectuals and engineers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and political parties had been opposing the proposal. The two Chief Ministers could not take a decision driven by their selfishness and understanding between them as it involved the future generations of Andhra Pradesh and a wider debate should take place

With 20 to 30 km of tunnel, water could be taken to the Rayalaseema, Nellore and upland areas of Prakasam district without any controversy as even for using surplus waters Telangana was levelling charges against Andhra Pradesh.

There are two tribunals for the Krishna and the Godavari, and without creating new controversy both the States could use the water allocated to them as the tunnel project is one of the best.

– Deeksha Prasad.G, President, Editor’s Guild of South India

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