The stalemate over the demand for complete allotment of water from the Raiwada reservoir towards agriculture seems to be continuing, with top officials not committing themselves to any timeline and the Opposition spearheading an agitation demanding a solution in a month.

The stalemate over the demand for complete allotment of water from the Raiwada reservoir towards agriculture seems to be continuing, with top officials not committing themselves to any timeline and the Opposition spearheading an agitation demanding a solution in a month.

Madugula MLA G. Rama Naidu, who went on a 36-hour fast, and senior TDP leaders Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy, Pappala Chalapathi Rao and Adari Tulasi Rao met the Special Chief Secretary of Irrigation Ajoyendra Pyal, Engineer-in-Chief Muralidhar and District Collector V. Sheshadri, calling for total allocation of water for irrigation and stopping the supply of 1.4 tmcft to the GVMC, for drinking water.

Mr. Pyal said he would study the issue and try to resolve it without affecting water supply to the city. He said he could not commit himself to any time limit. The issue would also be brought to the notice of the Irrigation Minister and resolved as early as possible.

Mr. Rama Naidu said an additional 6,000 acres languished without water and even for the 15,000 ayacut the supply was erratic. He insisted that a memo issued by the then Secretary of Irrigation, in September 2004, to release water to 6,000 acres, should be implemented as a new water supply scheme from the Godavari was nearing completion.

The TDP leader recalled that ex-Congress leader Konathala Ramakrishna had taken up an agitation on the Raiwada water issue. The memo was issued when the Congress was in power and should be implemented to benefit farmers.

Further, Rs. 96 crore that the GVMC owed towards water supply should be paid, he demanded.

He said the issue had been burning for nearly 37 years and the release of water to new ayacut denied time and again — linking it to the Yeleru and Godavari schemes — while it was now being linked to the Polavaram project. He said even related information was misleading or not given properly and that people were unhappy that irrigation officials were not visiting their area.

Former Minister Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy said while the TDP government had contributed Rs. 200 crore to the Rs. 400 crore, 10 tmcft Godavari water scheme, the GVMC failed to fully utilise it and was drawing only 4 tmcft. Since pumping of water involved money, it was fully exploiting 27 mgd water from Raiwada taking advantage of the natural gradient and had failed to improve water sources over the last 10 years, he alleged.

If the problem was not resolved in a month people of Madugula, Chodavaram, Elamanchili and Anakapalle would agitate for Raiwada water, he warned.

More In: Visakhapatnam