MLCs, MLAs seek steps to release water from Sagar right canal

The water crisis looming on Krishna Western Delta (KWD) and Guntur city dominated the proceedings at the District Review Committee (DRC) meeting held here on Saturday after a gap of nearly six months.

Cutting across party lines, MLCs and MLAs demanded that urgent action should be taken for releasing at least 7,500 cubic feet per second (cusec) of water from Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) right canal compared to the existing 5,500 cusec, and taking up repairs to the large network of canals and bore-wells.

Besides, water should be immediately released into Guntur channel for quenching the thirst of people of Guntur city.

The participants have also demanded that seepage and evaporation losses of water on its way from NSP to K.L. Rao Sagar (Pulichintala) project and Prakasam barrage should be curbed and summer storage tanks filled in the next few days for meeting the drinking water needs.

District In-Charge and Minor Irrigation Minister T.G. Venkatesh said the water crisis needed to be pursued with utmost urgency as the summer started having its impact.

Along with people’s representatives of the district, he would discuss the issue with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in the coming days.

The 6,000 million cubic feet (TMCFT) of water given for Krishna delta has been exhausted and one more TMCFT was released on a contingency basis. More water is required for at least the next three weeks. The issue would be duly taken up with the Chief Minister.

Mr. Venkatesh said defunct bore-wells should be repaired immediately with funds from the Zilla Parishad or other source and if that is not possible he would give his own money rather than allow the people to suffer. He also promised to get patrolling of the canals done by the police to prevent diversion of water by farmers. The Superintendent of Police would be asked to take necessary action.

The MLCs and MLAs sought instructions for proper implementation of the R&R package for the hundreds of families facing displacement by the Pulichintala project.

Another important aspect to be urgently taken care of is the shifting of some ancient temples which will be swept away once water is impounded by the project around June. But the Endowments Department has so far not prepared requisite action plan in spite of having Rs 20 crore at its disposal.

Ministers Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy and Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao, Collector S. Suresh Kumar and others were present.