VIJAYAPURA: Farmers in Krishna delta will get water in June itself to raise nurseries and begin agricultural operations in the coming kharif season.
Irrigation minister Deveineni Umamaheswara Rao said that after a very long time, this year water would be available aplenty for farmers of Krishna delta as it is proposed to release water from Pulichintala reservoir in time.
Speaking at the Irrigation Advisory Board meeting here on Tuesday, the minister said that till now Krishna delta farmers were dependent on release of water from Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) which used to be late. Farmers have been longig to complete farm operations by November, much before the cyclone season begins.
He said all the remaining works related to Pulichintala would soon be over so that it would be able to impound 42 tmcft water. Arrangements were made for payment to farmers affected by the project in Nalgonda and Guntur districts, he said.
He expressed concern over the impact of the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal’s permission to Karnataka to raise the height of Almatti dam. The second Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal headed by Brijesh Kumar in 2013 had dismissed Andhra Pradesh’s objections to Karnataka raising the dam height to 524.26 metres. Till then, because of objections, Karnataka was forced to store water at 519.6 m only.
He said the AP government was putting forth an effective argument in Supreme Court against Karnataka raising the height of the dam. As both Almatti and Tungabadhra did not have much water, AP will not get flood water unless they were full. This meant that the water would not be reaching AP before September. “This is where Pulichintala will be of great relief to the farmers,” he said.
As regards Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (PLIS), he said it was being taken on a priority basis to help Krishna farmers get enough water for their parched lands. He said there was a proposal to impound 20 tmcft of Godavari water in June and July when the river was in spate at Jalcheru reservoir. He said pipeline laying work under PLIS was completed over 10 km of the total stretch of 42 km.
Referring to Budameru in Vijayawada, he said that a solution would be found soon to provide relief to farmers whose lands would be submerged when the rivulet was in spate.
The meeting was chaired by collector Babu A. Irrigation SE C Ramakrishna was among those present.