A special District Review Committee (DRC) meeting on drought wanted the works under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to be expedited. District incharge minister Kanna Lakshminaryana directed that assistance from Panchayat Raj and R&B departments be taken for launching the works early.
He said the State Government would represent to the Union Rural Development ministry the issue of giving job cards in the urban areas. Citing ‘problems’ in declaration of district as drought-hit, he said, however, all possible measures would be taken to extend assistance virtually treating it as drought-hit.
Responding to a suggestion by MLC M.V.S. Sarma, he said a committee of Rural Water Supply, Agriculture, Power, NREGS and Animal Husbandry departments would be formed for coordinated efforts. He asked the district Collector to send a resolution on declaring it drought-hit with focus on badly hit mandals. He directed that number of tankers be increased to maintain water supply at Anakapalle and Bhimili.
Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju said road, drain and other works should be taken up to provide work under NREGS and stating that no proposals came from mandal-level was not proper. District Collector J.Syamala Rao said survey had been completed in the agency area and a tie-up arranged for training and the schedule was being followed. He said rainfall was normal only in six mandals and in 35 mandal deficit varied between 20 to 59 per cent. Paddy was transplanted in 66 per cent of the area in the agency and 4 per cent in the plains and damage was 35 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Dadi Veerabhadra Rao wanted payment discrepancies to be rectified and funds utilised properly. Differing with the minister, he said declaring the district drought-hit would help in getting more funds from the centree, conversion of agricultural loans etc. MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao wanted the district to be declared drought-hit. MLA AV Rama Naidu said farmers under Raiwada were hit in view of the supply to Visakhapatnam.
GVMC Commissioner B. Sridhar said 150 cusecs would be released from Yeleru canal and from Tatipudi supply could be maintained for 40 days. MP Sabbam Hari suggested that supply be restricted to 45 minutes so as to defer alternate day supply.
MLAs Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, G. Babu Rao, Tainala Vijay Kumar, Malla Vijay Prasad, B. Mutyalapapa, M. Srinivasa Rao, P. Rameshbabu, Ch. Venkatramaiah and S. Soma, MLCs Suryanarayana Raju and G. Srinivasulu Naidu participated.