The issue of letting out of sewage into irrigation canals that pass through the city came to the fore at a review meting chaired by Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah here on Saturday. The Minister asked the officials of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and the Irrigation Department to ensure that the sewage did not enter the canals, and suggested to them to prepare estimates to develop the underground drainage network in a full-fledged manner in the city.
The estimates would be placed before the Central Government for sanction of funds, he said, and advised them to appoint consultants to study and prepare the estimates within two months.
Mr. Lakshmaiah also wanted the officials to speed up the works costing Rs. 278 crores taken up for treating the sewage in the city, and complete them at the earliest. So far, only Rs.126 crores had been spent for treating 45 million litres a day of sewage, and the officials must complete works so that another 60 million litres a day of sewage could be treated by October.
The Minister wanted the officials to take measures to ensure that no area or locality of the city got submerged or flooded with rain water by 2010. At the same time, sewage should not be let out into any irrigation or drinking water canal as per the directions given by the High Court in the past, he made clear.
Referring to Budameru drain, he asked the officials to appoint a consultant and get proposals for a comprehensive development of the drain prepared in two months. Mr. Lakshmaiah expressed concern over indiscriminate manner in which solid waste was being dumped by the residents of hill areas of the city, which, he feared, would clog the drains and result in flooding. To prevent this, students of colleges and schools must be involved in an awareness campaign to reduce the use of plastic and encourage people to dump all wastes into separate baskets on roads.
Municipal Commissioner P. S. Pradyumna, Irrigation SE T. Chandra Rao and other Irrigation officials were present.