A team of officials from Maharashtra, headed by its Water Resources Chief Engineer, approves the site proposed

Maharashtra has given its approval to “site clearance” for the construction of the barrage across the Pranahita river proposed by Andhra Pradesh as part of the Pranahita-Chevella mega multi-purpose project, at Tummidi Hatti, a village bordering the two States.

A team of officials from Maharashtra, headed by its Water Resources Chief Engineer, Nagpur, approved the site proposed and also its alignment across the river, during a joint survey with AP officials led by J. Satyananad, chief engineer, Pranahita-Chevella, on May 5 and 6.

Under wraps

It will take some time for Maharashtra to issue a formal letter approving this site, officials sources told The Hindu here on Thursday.

This development has been kept under wraps to prevent naxalites and others from hindering the barrage works which are likely to be started after approval is received from Maharashtra.

Also, officials apprehend trouble from local people as 2,000 acres of land, though barren, will be submerged.

Maharashtra government officials and Collectors of Gadchiroli and Sironcha districts bordering AP, who participated in the initial discussions, have been informed of the joint survey.

During the discussions, an office of the inter-state Board to implement the project, was opened at Jalasoudha here.

Irrigation Department officials are happy about the outcome, although it was expected long ago after signing of the inter-State agreement by Chief Ministers of the two States in New Delhi.

Enquiries with the department revealed that various works of the project are moving at brisk pace in the districts. The Rs. 38,500-crore project, including its 209 km length of tunnel has been divided into 28 packages and entrusted to different contractors after calling for bids.

So far, a sum of Rs 3,200 crore has been spent on the giant project which will provide water to upland areas of Telangana.