Friday, Oct 29, 2004
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By M. Malleswara Rao
HYDERABAD, OCT. 28. Although the State Government has announced ambitious plans to complete as many as 30 irrigation projects as early as possible, it's a race against time for it to secure Central clearances.
While pending projects on the Krishna may not get clearances easily, many of the Godavari-based projects, which the Rajasekhara Reddy Government is keen on early completion, are yet to receive the Centre's clearance. Interestingly, the Chief Minister has laid the foundation stone for some of these works, including the controversial Pulichnitala project.
As many as 13 out of 26 projects listed for completion in three/five years have no clearances from Central Water Commission (CWC). They are Veligonda, for which the Chief Minister performed bhoomi puja yesterday, Handri-Neeva, Galeru-Nagari, Kalwakurthy, Guru Raghavendra, Penn Ahobilam, Telugu Ganga, Tadipudi, Alisagar, Gutpa, A. Madhava Reddy Canal, Pushkaram, and Nettempadu. Most of them are based on the Krishna.
Among the four mega projects planned on the Godavari, three -- Inchampalli, Yellampalli and Dummagudem -- face the same fate. Polavaram is the only one from this category which has secured the nine-in-one clearance by the CWC covering hydrology, soil, revenue, cost-benefit, design, mechanical, environment and rehabilitation and resettlement aspects.
Only six other projects enjoy this status --Vamsadhara, Bhima, Thotapalli, Sriramsagar Stage II, Sriramsagar Flood Flow Canal, and Somasila. Officials say that Gundlakamma, Chitravathi, Alaganur Balancing Reservoir and Ramathirtha do not require any Central clearances as they are purely local.
The CWC gave all approvals to the controversial Pulichintala project subject to environmental and forest clearance, making public hearing in the affected areas a must. Accordingly, a hearing is being held at Nallacheruvu in Nalgonda district on November 10.
After a long struggle, only `site-clearance' came to the much-talked Devadula. Jhanjhavathi has obtained all the nine approvals but got bogged down in inter-state issues. It is a long way before Dummagudem and Yellampalli get the nod.
Investigations on them are under way only now. Inchampalli, which will be the ultimate answer to Telangana problems, could not progress due to the likely submergence in Chhatisgarh at the original 112-metre level.
Now, a resurvey is on to reduce the dam height to 95 metres and thus minimise the submersion.
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