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Water projects: CM all praise for Satya Sai Trust

By Our Staff Reporter

PUTTAPARTHI, FEB. 12. The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, has appreciated the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust for taking up several projects for the benefit of people in Andhra Pradesh and other States.

He said that the Rs. 200-crore Sai Ganga project, a part of the Telugu Ganga project, has enabled supply of drinking water to Chennai in assured quantities. He thanked the gracious support of Satya Saibaba for the drinking water projects, adding that the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, too felt happy when told about the projects.

In an impromptu press conference at Sri Satya Sai airport here on Thursday, he said that the lining of Kandaleru-Poondi canal, improvement to the vulnerable sections in Kandaleru reservoir, revetment, silt clearance and other works taken up under the Sai Ganga project had enabled supply of assured quantity of drinking water to Chennai.

Revetment to Kandaleru reservoir, cement linking to K-P canal, construction of two escape structures to let out excessive inflow into Kandaleru during floods, construction of 50 inlets for feeding rainwater into the reservoir form the nearby hilly region, strengthening of approach channels in the reservoir belt, construction of RCC walls across slopes, silt clearance in K-P canal to a length of about 50 km were among other works taken up with the help of Rs. 200 crores assistance extended by the Satya Sai Trust, he said.

The present population of Chennai (about 50 lakhs) would actually require 942 MLD of water but the sources in Tamil Nadu were able to supply only 250 MLD. The gap in the demand was being met from the supply of water through Telugu Ganga canal and the works taken up as part of Sai Ganga project. Besides, the Trust had also completed drinking water projects for 730 villages in Anantapur district at a cost of Rs. 300 crores benefiting 12-lakh people, projects in 179 villages in Medak district at a cost of Rs. 27 crores benefiting 4.5-lakh people and another 141 villages in Mahbubnagar district at a cost of Rs. 26 crores quenching the thirst of 3.5 lakh people.

In all, the Trust had extended Rs. 553 crores for drinking water projects, he said.

Mr. Naidu also pointed out that a Rs. 30-crore project to improve drinking water supply to 1,000 villages in Chittoor district was in progress. It was taken up under Janmabhoomi with the Satya Sai Trust contributing 36 per cent of the cost and the Government the remaining 64 per cent.

To a query on the lack of water allocation to the Satya Sai Water Supply Scheme in Anantapur district, he said the scheme would be given water from the 5 tmcft of allocation to the Penna Ahobilam balancing reservoir along with the drinking water project to the water starved villages in Penukonda, Dharmavaram, Madakasira, Hindupur and Gorantla constituencies. He also assured sufficient funds for the development of Puttaparthi as a global spiritual and tourism centre.

No politics, says CM

Mr. Naidu in contrast to his earlier press conferences chose not to talk politics and preferred to focus on development.

Speaking to newspersons after seeing off Mr. Vajpayee at the Satya Sai airport he said, "No politics please. I won't speak any politics and you don't asking me anything related to politics. We will talk only development."

He, however, discussed politics at Prashanti Nilayam, the abode of Satya Saibaba, when he called on Mr. Vajpayee and also had a meeting with the TDP leaders of the district on Wednesday night.

His also reportedly had a brief chat with Paritala Ravindra, while driving down to the Sai Srinivasa guesthouse from the airport along with Mr. Ravindra.

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