VISAKHAPATNAM: Uttarandhra Charcha Vedika (UCV) in a letter to Chief Minister YS Jagana Mohan Reddy has sought allotment of more funds for irrigation projects in north Andhra. Addressing media persons here on Wednesday, convener Konathala Ramakrishna said while Rs 24,000 crore was required for various irrigation projects in the region only Rs 700 crore was allocated in the State budget. Alleging that irrigation has been neglected in north Andhra, he said at least Rs 2,000 crore should be allotted sanctioned immediately for the projects.
Though the region receives 1050 mm rainfall annually over one crore people in the region have been facing severe scarcity of water for drinking and irrigation needs, he said. He said of the 23.24 lakh agriculture land in the region, assured irrigation was provided only for eight lakh acre.
He said through diversion of Godavari waters the problem can be solved permanently. Over eight lakh acre will be brought under irrigation if Babu Jagjeevan Ram Sujala Sravanti project is completed. He said the project for which foundation stone was laid by former chief minister YS Raja Sekhara Reddy in February 2009 will ensure drinking water for 30 lakh people in 1,200 villages. He urged Jagan Mohan Reddy to take up works of the Sujala Sravanti Project.
Similarly, interlinking of rivers in the region should be taken up on a war-footing and action plan should be chalked out to divert Godavari river water to the region. Steps should also be taken to resolve inter-State disputes with Odisha regarding irrigation projects, he said and added that works of Polavaram left main canal should be completed early.
He said at least 15 per cent to 20 per cent of funds should be allotted for north Andhra in budget on the basis of population and area ratio. Ramakrishna said at least in appropriation bill the budget allocation should be enhanced to Rs 2,000 crore for irrigation projects.
He said funds were not allotted for modernisation and maintenance of canals of reservoirs including Tarakaram, Urakagedda and Palagedda.