The Forum for Good Governance expressed serious doubts over the feasibility of the Godavari drinking water project as it suffered from lack of funds, water and power. The government had no plan of action, said forum secretary M. Padmanabha Reddy, and sought a white paper on the subject.
Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, he said the project envisaged drawing 30 tmcft of water from Pranahita project which was a non starter. It might take at least two decades to complete or could be abandoned midway. Again, to lift water from Pranahita about 3000 MW of power was required and with the present state of affairs it would be very difficult to provide so much power, Mr. Reddy said.
Pending construction of Pranahita project, he said the Water Board had decided to draw water from Yellampally in Karimnagar district, while the water available in this project was already earmarked for local drinking water needs and irrigation to neighbouring areas. “As such, the present arrangement to transport water from Yellamally to Hyderabad is an unsustainable proposition,” Mr. Reddy said.
He further said that the project was estimated to cost Rs. 3,375 crore on the basis of 2007-08 rates and now after price escalation could touch Rs. 5,000 crore.
Again, the project was mired in land acquisition problems. Moreover, the government of India and GHMC had not provided any funds to the project. Only the State government was providing Rs. 250 crore annually and so far it had given Rs. 1,250 crore.
Mr. Reddy expressed doubts about completion of the project by 2013 as announced. He also faulted the laying of pipes from Hyderabad instead of starting from the source – Pranahita in Adilabad district.
The Forum, which obtained information through RTI, felt the project was not going to yield the stated results. The matter was brought to the notice of the Water Board managing director, Principal Secretary, MAUD and the Chief Minister, but there was no response so far.
This improper planning could pose a serious water problem to the city in the coming years, Mr. Reddy feared. He wanted the project to be reviewed with the involvement of civil society members.