VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the Water Resources Department to prepare a note on the disputes between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with regard to irrigation projects over Vamsadhara river. He also told the officials to make arrangements to hold parleys with his Odisha counterpart to resolve the interstate issues amicably.
In a review meeting with water resources officials at his camp office in Tadepalli on Thursday, the Chief Minister informed them that the Odisha government had not come forward for the joint survey of submergence-prone villages, as requested by AP and directed by Vamsadhara Water Dispute Tribunal, for executing projects across the river.
The officials informed the Chief Minister that the State agreed to provide rehabilitation and resettlement package and construct a protective wall. They also informed him that water distribution from Janjhavati reservoir was not as per the requirement as the Odisha government has objections and that the lining of the Vamsadhara river was also pending. For the record, Odisha has not only raised concerns over projects across Vamsadhara but also moved the Supreme Court against Polavaram project.
In this context, Jagan directed the officials to prepare a comprehensive note on all the issues pending with Odisha government and make arrangements for a meeting with the neighbouring State’s Chief Minister. “We will make all attempts for the execution of Neradi Barrage. We should also check if there are any alternatives for the project,” he told the officials.
Jagan also reviewed the status of rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) of oustees of Polavaram irrigation project. He instructed the officials concerned to ensure that those affected by recent floods be given priority in R&R, so that a similar situation would not arise in the next season.
He took stock of the status of pending works pertaining to projects, including Chintalapudi, Thotapalli, Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi, Veligonda, Varikapudisela, Guntur channel and others. He further directed the officials to prepare a district-wise report on irrigation projects to be executed so that they can be completed in the next four years. Alleging that all the irrigation projects awarded by the TDP government reeked of scams and corruption, he asked the officials to go for reverse tendering for the projects as it would help exchequer, which has financial constraints, save money.
More acumen should be shown in the utilisation of floodwater and minimise its flow into the sea, he noted. “Such situations could be averted if we plan that there would be flooding for 30 to 40 days instead of the present convention of 120 days annually,’’ he said.
Claiming that the fruits of Jalayagnam were received, the officials informed the Chief Minister that for the first time about 44,000 cusecs of water was drawn from Pothireddypadu Head Regulator.