Officials asked to fast-track irrigation projects

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh State government has directed the officials of the Irrigation Department to meet the deadline for completion of three projects as scheduled. This directive is giving sleepless nights to the officials.According to sources in the Irrigation Department, senior officials were asked by the government to ensure that the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project (PLIP), Handri-Neeva, and Galeru-Nagari irrigation project should be completed within one or one-and-a half- year.

Apart from giving specific directions to the West Godavari Districts Collector, the State government asked the Irrigation and Revenue officials to clear the bottlenecks for the PLIP. The PLIP is proposed to use the Polavaram Right Bank Canal (PRBC) to bring the Godavari River waters to upstream Prakasam barrage across the river Krishna in Vijayawada. However, there is a need to build two huge structures on two rivulets en route. The construction of structures are expected to take six to seven months. Apart from this, there were few lands which are entangled in legal battle. While this is so, another team of officials from the department were asked to focus on the phase – 1 of the Galeru –Nagari project’s phase to clear all the issues within a month or two. 

This is to fast-track the project, to take the water up to Gandi Kota, and in turn to provide water to the drought-hit areas in Chittoor district like Punganueru, Kuppam, Tamballapalli and other areas, facing acute water scarcity. Besides, another team of officials were deputed to work on the completion of phase –I and phase-II of Handri- Neeva project.  For this too, the state government has given a time of one to one-and-half year. Along with this, the Irrigation officials have also been asked to clear the decks for taking the Krishna River water though Handri – Neeva to drought-hit areas in the Rayalaseema, in particularly to Anantapuram district.

 “Though the projects fall under different geographical regions in the State, at the same time, in terms of usage of Godavari and Krishna river waters they fall under one-ecosystem,” said a senior officials from the Irrigation Department. Clarifying on this, State Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said all the three projects are on fast track, and we “have put them on top priority list and we will complete them as per the schedule. Our main target is to ensure that the projects form the basis for the drought proofing initiative of the government,” he added.

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