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MLAs express concern over dry conditions under Yeleru project ayacut

Correspondent

Continued dry spell in catchment areas


  • No farm operations in over 12,000 hectares
  • Water sought from allocation to VSP
  • Modernisation of ayacut, branch canal sought

    KAKINADA: Several MLAs, including Thota Narasimham, Thota Gopalakrishna and Varupula Subbarao, voiced their concern at the Irrigation Development Board meeting here on Thursday over the future of the majority of the ayacut under Yeleru project owing to poor water levels in the reservoir due to continued dry spell in the catchment areas.

    They said agricultural operations did not commence in over 12,000 hectares and requested the Government to explore the possibilities of releasing water from the pipeline that takes water to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, for the time being, to save the Yeleru ayacut. The other MLAs, including Anisetti Bullebbai Reddy and Chitturi Ravindra, voiced a similar demand on providing water to the ayacut under the Pithapuram Branch Canal, especially to the tail-end areas.

    `Expedite process'

    They wanted the Government to expedite the process of according approval for the Rs.38.60 crore plan for the modernisation of the Yeleru ayacut and also the Pithapuram branch canal modernisation. The ZP chairperson, Dunna Janardhana Rao, said lot of water was being let out into the sea as waste while the tail-end areas were starved of water. He wanted the engineers to have a realistic approach and submit the proposals for securing funds for modernisation of the canals.

    The Collector, Anil Kumar Singhal, said it was not possible to divert the water from the steel plant pipeline as it was designed to suit the plant's requirement and no additional capacity to cater to the irrigation needs.

    He asked the irrigation engineers to secure clearance for utilising Rs.15 lakhs out of the Rs.1 crore sanctioned for the Yeleru project to undertake urgent repairs to the canals. The Minister for Roads and Buildings, who presided, said the Government had earmarked Rs.6,000 crores in the budget and East Godavari district being the major district in irrigation should get its due share. He wanted the irrigation engineers to submit proposals to secure more funds on the lines of neighbouring West Godavari district.

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