Completion of Polavaram left canal only way out: CPI(M)

CPI(M) district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao and retired irrigation chief engineer S. Satyanarayana have criticised the State government and the GVMC for failing to take suitable steps for augmenting the drinking water supply resources to meet the city’s requirement in the past 20 years.

Addressing a press conference at the party office here on Saturday, they said the rulers had no foresight with regard to formulating plans for boosting water resources in proportionate to the growing population needs.

The city continued to receive the same quantum of water it had received two decades ago, Mr. Satyanarayana said, and found fault with the GVMC for suggesting an expensive project of laying a pipeline from the Yeleru canal to the city at a whopping cost of Rs.1,900 crore.

The huge financial burden would be thrust on the people in the form of taxes. Laying the pipeline itself would take two years. Instead, he suggested that the government take steps to complete construction of the Polavaram left canal and implement a lift irrigation scheme with just Rs.20 crore. A quantum of 100 tmcft could be lifted and brought to the city through the Polavaram left canal.

The government had stipulated a water allocation of 400 MGD, which was 23.44 tmcft from the Polavaram project. The allocation had been made keeping in view the future requirements.

The Yeleru and Raiwada water projects were originally intended for meeting the irrigation requirements of the region. But temporary arrangement to use the water to meet the city’s requirement had been made until implementation of the Polavaram project. Once the Polavaram project becomes a reality, the Yeleru and Raiwada water should be allotted for irrigation purposes.

Another ray of hope for the city was the water supply prospects from the Janjhavati project. A canal should be laid from the tributary of the Nagavali and 4 tmcft could be diverted from there to the city. The government could not utilise the 4 tmcft due to an inter-State issue with Odisha. Instead of negotiating the issue with that State and solving the problem, the government merely built a rubber dam, resulting in utilisation of merely 1 tmcft from the river, he said.

Mr. Narsinga Rao said the city had been getting a total of 85 MGD for meeting the drinking water and industrial requirements. As much as 40 MGD was supplied from the Raiwada, Thatipudi, and Meghadrigedda reservoirs and another 45 MGD from the Yeleru canal for the local industrial requirement.

Though water allocations remained the same in the past two decades, the city experienced population boom and expansion of industrial activity.

The district CPI(M) committee leaders demanded that the Polavaram project be immediately implemented and financial allocations made to complete the multidimensional project in the best interests of the State and the region.

They also demanded that the government take effective measures for utilisation of the full potential of the three pumping systems created by the Vizag Industrial Water Supply Project and make arrangements for pumping of 5 tmcft through the system. Arrangements should be made to install two other pumping systems.

Mr. Narsinga Rao suggested that the Ravulacheruvu in Kurmannapalem be used as a reservoir to supply groundwater to 1 lakh population of Vadlapudi and Kurmannapalem areas. Similarly, 5 MGD could e supplied to people of Gajuwaka through the Kaniti reservoir, he added.

The leaders termed the government’s “lack of vision” and will to implement the schemes as tragic.

CPI(M) city secretary B. Ganga Rao spoke.

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