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State plans modernisation of drainage system
Need for removal of encroachments along the drainage channels stressed
Stock-taking:Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Minister for Irrigation, inspects the condition of an outfall sluice at Vaddilanka in West Godavari district on Sunday.
BHIMAVARAM: Minister for Irrigation Ponnala Lakshmaiah on Sunday said the government was contemplating a permanent solution to floods caused by the drainage system to farm fields in the Godavari delta system. Narsapur Lok Sabha member Kanumuri Bapi Raju and several other MLAs of the Congress from the delta area took the Minister around to the flood-prone areas and weak spots of the drainage channels such as Nandamuri Aqueduct and the locks at Duvva, Undi and Yandagandi across the Y. Drain, the Nakkala outfall sluice at Lakshmipalem and Kaja drain at Y.V. Lanka.
The Minister was moved by the paddy fields under a sheet of floodwaters during his visit. Mr. Lakshmaiah, who interacted with peasant groups and the representatives of the Water Users Associations (WUAS) here on the last leg of his tour, informed that the government was thinking of hiring the services of a reputed consultancy firm for drawing a plan of action for modernisation of the drainage system.
The WUA members and peasant leaders called for urgent steps for increase of the carrying capacity of the major drains by widening their width and the depth by undertaking desilting. Besides, they also highlighted the need for removal of encroachments along the channels. Several brick units came up right in the bed of the Yanamadurru drain and many habitations on its bunds at several points, making the course quite narrow bringing the paddy fields under the threat of floods en route its course from Duvva to Bhimavaram for a stretch of 40 km.
The Minister remained a mute witness to the shutters fitted to sluices for regulation of drain water which were washed away at Duvva and Lakshmipalem in the Yanamadurru drain during the recent floods.
M.V. Suryanarayana Raju of the Godavari Delta Parirakshana Samithi emphasised the need for implementing a proposal for constructing a diversion channel for the Nakkala outfall sluice from Lakshmipalem so as to help it empty itself into the sea straight near Narsapur with an estimated cost of Rs. 100 crore. The outfall sluice which was connected to the Godavari river lost its very purpose of discharging the flood water into the river from the Nakkala drain for want of gravitation since the water level in the Godavari would be obviously higher than that of the wastewater in the drain during the rainy season which resulted in submergence of the paddy fields in the three delta mandals, he explained.
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