Friday, July 19, 2024

Irrigation sector back by 20 years: Minister

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Minister for Water Resources Nimmala Rama Naidu has commented that the previous YSRCP government took the irrigation sector in the State back by 20 years. Former Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy neglected all the important projects, such as Purushottapatnam, Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, and Pulichinthala Project, he alleged. Jagan called the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (PLIS), ‘Vattiseema’. He should apologise to the farmers, the Minister demanded.
Ministers Nimmala Rama Naidu, Kollu Ravindra, Kolusu Saradhi, MP Kesineni Sivanath alias Chinni, MLC Paruchuri Ashok Babu, MLAs Mandali Buddha Prasad, Bonda Uma Maheswara Rao, Kagitha Krishna Prasad, and Yarlagadda Venkata Rao released drinking water to Krishna Eastern and Western Delta canals from the Prakasam Barrage Head Regulators in Vijayawada. They, along with Irrigation Department officials, performed special pujas at the head regulators. Later, the ministers switched on motors to release water into the canals. On the occasion, they sprinkled turmeric, saffron and flowers in the canals. The Irrigation authorities released 1,500 cusecs of water for Eastern Delta canals and 500 cuses for Western Delta canals.
Speaking to the media, Minister Naidu said that YS Jagan totally neglected the Pulichinthala Project, which was constructed to store around 45 TMCs of water to cater to Krishna Eastern and Western Deltas’ drinking and irrigation requirements. During the rainy season, the government must store adequate water in Pulichinthala.
However, the previous YSRCP government did not make such efforts, he alleged. As a result, as of now, there is less than 0.5 TMCs of water, he added.
Further, he said that the current Kharif season is getting delayed by a month due to insufficient water in the upstream reservoirs. So, the government has taken steps to divert water from River Godavari through PLIS towards River Krishna via the Polavaram Right Main Canal. As of now, 6,500 cusecs of water is coming from the Pattiseema and Tadipudi Lift Irrigation Schemes. The water should be first used for drinking purposes and then for preparing seed beds for the paddy plantation, he requested.
“The water released now will be used to irrigate around 7.38 lakh acres. Also, it will facilitate drinking water for the 11 Assembly constituencies covering 35 mandals in Krishna, NTR, and Eluru districts. Also, another 5.69 lakh acres will be irrigated in Guntur, Prakasam and Bapatla districts to resolve the drinking water problems in seven Assembly constituencies,” Naidu said.
Further, he said before the release of water, the government completed the removal of silt, weeds and others in the canals on a war-footing to ensure the free flow of water, as per the direction of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. From the next year onwards, the department will prepare a plan in advance to remove the weeds and silt in the canals and will invite tenders for that, he said.
Minister for Housing and Information & Public Relations Kolusu Partha Saradhi said that in any sector, maintenance is most important and it was neglected by the previous YSRCP government. As a result, the irrigation sector suffered severely, he felt. Due to the non-operation of the Purushottapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme, the upland areas Nuzvid, Mylavaram and Tiruvuru were severely affected, he said. During the TDP regime from 2014 to 2019, Chandrababu Naidu spent Rs.4,000 crore for Purushottapatnam. However, the amount spent during the YSRCP regime was just below Rs.50 crore, he said.
Minister for Mines & Geology and Excise Kollu Ravindra commented that people of the Krishna Delta faced a hectic drinking water problem during the YSRCP government. With the help of the PLIS, the drinking water problem will be resolved after the release of water into canals, he said.
Water Resources Department Advisor Mamidi Venkateswara Rao, Engineer-in-Chief C Narayana Reddy, NTR District Collector Dr G Srijana, Superintending Engineer TJH Prasad Babu, KC Division EE PVR Krishna Rao and others were present.

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