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Updated: June 12, 2014 00:06 IST

Development of NW-4 a boon to A.P.

G. Venkataramana Rao
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Project expected to be environment-friendly and economical. The project has been in deep freezer for over five years, and it is high time it was taken out and implemented.

The development of National Waterway No. 4 will be a boon to the cash-strapped Andhra Pradesh. The waterway project that stretches from Kakinada to Puducherry for the transport of cargo in Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, West and East Godavari districts to the existing and developing ports is expected to be both environmental-friendly and economical.

An estimated 11 million tonnes of cargo is expected to be transported through NW-4 every year.

Various canals can be linked with stretches of Krishna and Godavari rivers to form a 1,095-km waterway from Kakinada to Puducherry. This network of canals and sections of Krishna and Godavari rivers have been declared as the National Water No. 4 on November 25, 2008, and entrusted to the National Waterway Authority of India (NWAI) for development.

The project has been in deep freezer for over five years, and it is high time it was taken out and implemented.

Former Vijayawada Irrigation Circle Deputy Superintending Engineer Rajendra Prasad said the development of NW-4 would be a boon to Andhra Pradesh that required rapid development. Agriculture produce can be brought to the NW 4 through canals that are linked from interior rural areas, he said. The estimated cost of developing the National Waterway was Rs. 1,515 crore according to the prices of 2009.

According to a project prepared by the NWAI, stretches of Godavari and Krishna rivers and Eluru Canal, which had the maximum cargo potential, could be taken up in the first phase. The estimated cost of Phase One of the project was Rs. 609 crore (as per 2009 prices). The cost of the second phase for the development of North and South Buckingham Canal, Commamur Canal and Kaluvelly Tank was Rs. 906 crore.

The Commamur Canal begins at Vijayawada and ends at Pedaganjam in Prakasam district. The North Buckingham Canal begins at Pedaganjam and continues as South Buckingham Canal to Puducherry. The project costs will have to be revised as for the new prices, Mr. Rajendra Prasad said.

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