Delay in payment of bills pauses irrigation project works in Anantapur district
During a district tour, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy pledged Rs 80 crore for the land acquisition of the Bhairavani Tippa project, which remains incomplete.
ANANTAPUR: While the government has cleared the outstanding bills for contracting agencies, progress on the modernisation of two critical canals under the Tungabhadra High Level Main Canal (THLMC) has stagnated. Delays in payments have not only hindered the modernisation of the Guntakallu Branch Canal (GBC) but have also impeded land acquisition efforts. Contractors appear apprehensive about potential delays in future payments, causing them to refrain from taking up project works in this favourable season for construction.
The GBC, originating from Palthuru, supply irrigation water to Uravakonda and Guntakallu constituencies, spans 59.40 kilometers and irrigates 15,760 acres. Initially allocated 2.77 tmc from the Tungabhadra High Level Main Canal, the GBC suffered damage at multiple points, reducing its water supply capacity. In 2016, plans were made for its modernisation, with a government-invited tender estimated at Rs 234.67 crore.
Till date, Rs 188.69 crore worth of work has been completed, but due to delayed payments, the contracting agency has not resumed work, despite cleared bills and notices from the irrigation department.Similarly, during the same period, the modernisation of the Mid Pennar South canal, spanning 44.44 kilometers and irrigating 22,078 acres, was initiated at an estimated cost of Rs 509.16 crore. While Rs 205.79 crore worth of work has been completed, work on the five major distributaries remains pending, causing hardships for farmers in need of irrigation.
The contracting agency has not received any payments, leading to a standstill. The officials have yet to take action to resume work. Chandrasekhar Reddy, AP Rytu Sangham district president said, “There is a need to utilise the water resources in the district as the region witnesses a deficit rainfall every year. The government have to intervene to complete the pending irrigation projects.”
During a district tour, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy pledged Rs 80 crore for the land acquisition of the Bhairavani Tippa project, which remains incomplete. Rajasekhar, Superintending Engineer of High Level Main Canal, said, “We have been taking steps for the execution of works of GBC and Mid Pennar South canal. The government cleared bills for some works and served notices to contractors asking them to take up works during off-season.”