ONGOLE:All pending irrigation projects in the state would be completed in four years with an investment of Rs 25,000 crore, Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said on Sunday.
The minister, addressing farmers after inspecting Gundlakamma reservoir in the district, said that the state government had brought in zero based budget which would facilitate taking up all pending irrigation projects in the state.
He said works relating to the Gundlakamma project would be completed in two months and irrigation facility provided by next khariff season. He said those who had lost their lands under the project would be paid adequate compensation.
Expressing concern over the escalation of the project cost from Rs 194 crore to Rs 594 crore, he said only YS Jagan Mohan Reddy would be able to give an answer to this. The late YS Rajasekhar Reddy, to benefit his relations, had hiked the project cost. Umamaheswara Rao disapproved of the campaign against the Pattiseema Project. This project is intended to benefit Rayalaseema region by providing irrigation facility and drinking water. The project is intended to utilise the surplus waters in Godavari river and that it would help the state use the water until the Polavaram Project comes into being after four years.
The Pattiseema Project is intended to divert 66 tmcft of water to Prakasam barrage and the same volume of water in Srisailam reservoir which should reach Prakasam barrage in normal course would be allowed to flow via Pothireddypadu Head Regulator to Rayalaseema region, the minister said.
Referring to Nagarjuna Sagar canals, the minister said that the NSP canals would be modernised at a cost of Rs 2,0000 crore to ensure that tailend areas receive water adequately. The first phase of Velugonda reservoir would be completed by 2016 and wanted officials to hasten the process.
Those who spoke included MLAs E Sambasiva Rao, Damacharla Janardhan Rao and former MP Karanam Balaramakrishna Murthy.