VIJAYAWADA: The proposed lift irrigation scheme on the Vamsadhara river near Gotta Barrage is expected to usher in agricultural growth in Srikakulam district by improving irrigation.During his recent visit to the district, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy gave his nod to the scheme, which is estimated to cost `189 crore. The file pertaining to the scheme is now with the Finance Department awaiting clearance.
Speaking to TNIE, Vamsadhara Superintending Engineer Dola Tirumala Rao said the proposed lift scheme will use the share of Vamsadhara water allocated to the State only. “At present out of the allocated share of 52.5 TMC, we are using only 20 to 23 TMC and the proposed lift will allow us to use 12 TMC more, which can be a game-changer for the agriculture sector in the backward Srikakulam,” he said.
The lift irrigation scheme has been proposed on the 2 km widened canal from Gotta Barrage. A 600-metre pipeline will be laid to take water to Hiramandalam Reservoir with a storage capacity of 19 TMC. At present, there is only 2.5 TMC of dead storage and another 5 TMC of natural flow from catchment areas. A system for supply of drinking water to 800 villages in Uddanam region from the dead storage of Hiramandalam Reservoir is under implementation. As on date, 70% of the works have been completed. About 1.5 TMC out of 2.5 TMC of dead storage water will be used for the purpose.
The lift irrigation scheme will be similar to Pattiseema project, which draws water from Godavari and diverts it to Krishna through the Right Main Canal of Polavaram project. “Instead of 80 TMC like Pattiseema, it is being proposed to draw only 12 TMC of water. It will have six pumps including two standby ones,” the SE elaborated.
Expected to be completed in one year from the date of finalisation of tenders, the scheme is likely to stabilise 2.55 lakh acres of ayacut spread across six of the eight Assembly constituencies in Srikakualm. They include Pathapatnam, Amadalavalasa, Srikakulam, Narasannapeta, Tekkali and Palasa. Further, it will enable 8%of the total ayacut, which is 2.30 lakh acres, raise the second crop.
The lift irrigation scheme has become a necessity with legal hurdles still haunting Neradi Barrage even more than six decades after being proposed, thus denying the irrigation water from Vamsadhara to the lands of Srikakulam. The recent verdict of the Vamsadhara Dispute Tribunal is also yet to be implemented.