VIJAYAWADA: Will Krishna delta spread across four districts with an ayacut of 13.08 lakh acre under Prakasam Barrage get irrigation water for kharif in June, as promised by irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao?
Water levels in reservoirs upstream of Prakasam Barrage tell a different tale altogether and the prospects of Krishna delta receiving irrigation water in June looks doubtful. After participating in the Irrigation Advisory Board (IAB) meeting in Vijayawada a couple of days ago, the minister said after a very long time, the water would be available aplenty for farmers in Krishna delta courtesy Pulichintala reservoir.
The minister gave an impression that the ongoing works related to Pulichintala would be completed and irrigation department would be ready to release water for kharif.
However, when the water levels were checked at Pulichintala on Thursday, they stood at 0.9 TMCFT and as there was no rainfall anywhere upstream, there are no inflows.
According to irrigation experts, to impound water in Pulichintala, the inflows have to come from Nagarjuna Sagar, which, in turn, has to get it from Srisailam, which will get it from Jurala and Tungabhadra projects. Those two projects will receive sufficient inflows only when there is heavy rainfall in Karnataka or Maharashtra. For Jurala project to receive water, there should be inflows from the Almatti dam.
Experts say the Nagarjuna Sagar dam has a storage capacity of 312 TMCFT and it has to receive enough water to meet the needs of the two states. To have 1 TMCFT water impounded in the reservoir, the inflows should be at 11,500 cusecs per day (24 hours).
Given the situation, impounding enough water in Pulichintala by June for releasing water downstream of Krishna delta through Prakasam Barrage looks improbable.
Delta Works Underway
Vijayawada: The irrigation department has initiated works pertaining to Krishna Delta modernisation with an outlay of Rs 154.64 crore. Drinking water flow from Prakasam Barrage was closed on April 28 and it would be resumed some time in June when the monsoon season begins. The works, which have been taken up under EPC mode, include Prakasam Barrage head works modernisation, works on Krishna Eastern Branch canal, East channel, Eluru canal, Ryves canal, Dosapadu canal, Gudivada canal, Bantumilli canal and Polaraju canal. The total value of the delta modernisation works under EPC mode to be completed is Rs 1,185.45 crore. Only Rs 447.71 crore worth of works have been completed till date. Officials say they hope to complete the works at the earliest.