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State waiting for Karnataka approval

Staff Correspondent

Proposal to widen Tungabhadra high-level canal

BELLARY: The State is awaiting Karnataka's approval for implementing a proposal to modernise and widen the high-level canal on the right bank of the Tungabhadra reservoir at a cost of Rs. 1,200 crores.

Giving this information to reporters here at the site where repairs to the canals are being undertaken, J.C. Diwakar Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, said Karnataka has not given its opinion either in favour or against the proposal.

According to him, the high-level canal (HLC) has become weak over the years resulting in its capacity of 4,000 cusecs coming down to 3,600 cusecs.

Apart from frequent breaches, farmers of both the States are losing water because of seepage. These problems can be avoided if the canal is strengthened and widened.

The inter-State Tungabhadra project meets the irrigation needs of Bellary, Raichur and Koppal districts in Karnataka and Anantapur, Cuddapah and Kurnool districts in Andhra Pradesh. Water is shared through the HLC, which passes through Hospet, Sandur and Bellary taluks, and the low-level canal, which serves Hospet, Bellary and Sirguppa taluks on the right bank of the Tungabhadra reservoir.

A stretch of 105 km of the HLC is in Karnataka and the rest in Andhra Pradesh. Repair and maintenance of the canal are looked after by the Tungabhadra Board, which has been constituted to monitor the release of water to the two States according to the Bachawat Award. Mr. Reddy said that Andhra Pradesh is ready to allocate the entire amount of money needed for implementing the proposal if Karnataka gives its approval.

Mr. Reddy did not agree with the view of M.P. Prakash, Minister in-charge of Bellary district, that the Tungabhadra Board should be scrapped, and said the board ensures that water is shared without any controversy. Mr. Reddy, along with Ananta Venkataram Reddy, Anantapur MP, and Venugopal Reddy, former MLA, was here to review the progress of the repairs to the canal.

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