VIJAYAWADA: Stating that the government is committed to providing water to all districts through the judicious use of surface and ground water, and by interlinking rivers and completing ongoing projects under Jalayagnam, the state government on Tuesday earmarked Rs 11,805.85 crore for water resources development during 2020-21.
While the Polavaram project was allocated a major share of Rs 4,804 crore, irrigation projects in Rayalaseema and Prakasam districts were also given significant budgetary allocations of Rs 3,637 crore.
The allocated outlay for water resources -- Rs 11,805.85 crore — is, however, 10.15 per cent less than 2019-20 budget estimates of Rs 13,139.04 crore, but higher than the revised estimates of Rs 5,345.69 crore. Sector-wise, irrigation and flood control accounts for 5.25 per cent of the total 2020-21 outlay.
Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, while presenting the budget in the Assembly on Tuesday, said that the government was according the highest priority to the completion of the Polavaram project, the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh. The outlay earmarked for the national project includes Rs 1,200 crore for rehabilitation and resettlement (R and R) and Rs 915 crore for its canals and distributaries.
Buggana noted that the State was unable to draw its allocated share from the Krishna basin even as severe drought conditions have become common in Rayalaseema districts. The Rayalaseema Drought Mitigation Project, which also includes the proposed Rayalaseema Pumping Scheme that triggered water war between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, would address this problem, he said.
“It is a paradox that while severe drought conditions in the Rayalseema region have become a recurrent phenomenon, our State is unable to draw its due share in the allocated water from the Krishna river. The Rayalaseema Drought Mitigation Scheme is envisaged to ensure that our due share in the Krishna river is realised in the short number of flood days available and also for satisfying our State’s commitment to provide drinking water to the city of Chennai. This scheme would be a boon to the farmers of the State, Rayalaseema in particular.”
The government will complete the projects in north coastal districts, Prakasam and Rayalaseema with a renewed focus, the Finance Minister said. The projects include Jagjivan Ram Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi, Vamsadhara-Nagavali interlinking project, Poola Subbaiah Veligonda Project, Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi, Gandikota Reservoir, Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi and Chintalpudi Lift Scheme.
“These are the priority projects that will enable the State to make the optimum utilisation of the allocated and the flood water of the Krishna and the Godavari rivers, and bring all-round prosperity,” he noted. The Godavari-Penna interlinking and Varikaselapudi Lift Srrigation Scheme would be merged into YSR Palnadu Drought Mitigation Scheme, the FM announced.