VIJAYAWADA: The water resources department has accorded permission for the incorporation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) — tentatively named Andhra Pradesh-Krishna Kolleru Salinity Mitigation Projects Corporation Limited — to overcome the challenges of salinity and also provide minimum water security to Krishna and Godavari districts.
Six projects will be taken up for the implementation of Krishna Kolleru Salinity Mitigation Projects with an outlay of Rs 2,952 crore.According to the order (MS 63) issued by special chief secretary (water resources) Adityanath Das on Wednesday, the department has proposed to construct barrages and regulators, lift irrigation projects to enhance the capacities of existing canal systems serving the region.
The six projects include: construction of a new barrage at 12th km downstream of Prakasam Barrage; a new barrage at 62th km downstream of Prakasam Barrage; cross regulator-cum-bridge-cum-lock on Upputeru river at 46.40th km; cross-regulator-cum-bridge-cum-lock on the Upputeru at 47.80th km; regulator at 1.40th km i,e., Padathadika in straight cut portion; and outfall-sluice-cum-double lane bridge on Pedalanka major.
The SPV, which will be in 70:30 debt-equity split, will help in arranging financing through loans from financial institutions and even has the option to tap into public markets. It shall also enable efficient monitoring of projects progress in a transparent manner.
The department proposed the Krishna Kolleru Salinity Mitigation projects on the Krishna because although the river is perennial it experiences either extreme floods with heavy flows for short duration or severe drought conditions with lean or no flows, owing to the erratic behaviour of monsoon in the last two decades.
Kolleru Lake, one of the largest natural fresh water lakes in AP, is fed by seasonal Budameru in Krishna district and Thammileru stream in West Godavari district, and is connected to the Krishna and Godavari Irrigation systems by over 67 major and minor notified drains and 46 non notified drains.
“Salt water intrusion has become a major problem in coastal regions owing to decrease in groundwater levels, scanty rainfall and no water flow in Krishna river for major part of the year. It is estimated that salt water intrusion is increasing every year protruding as much as 40 kms from the coast to Vijayawada. Groundwater depletion and sharp dip food grain yield owing to monsoon failure have made water storage and rejuvenation of the ground water table a top priority,” the department said.