The proposed diversion of Kandaleru water has raised many concerns over the fate of the agricultural lands spread over 5 lakh acres under the Telugu Ganga Project.
Fears are being expressed over the potential threat to the drinking water supply to Chennai from the Kandaleru dam.
The Andhra Pradesh government has given administrative approval for the Rs. 7,390-crore Chittoor District Drinking Water Supply Project which envisages diversion of 6.61 tmcft of water from the Kandaleru reservoir under the Telugu Ganga Project in Nellore
The government issued the GO 14 on October 4 this year through the Infrastructure and Investment (airports-A2) Department with a 2-year deadline for the completion of works being taken up in the phase-1, spread over two stages.
The main opposition, Telugu Desam Party, has started blaming Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy for the move, what they described as ‘unjust and illegal’.
The Chittoor Water Supply Project, which is under implementation, is in total violation of the rules governing an Inter-state project like the Telugu Ganga.
TDP polit bureau member Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy has already warned the government against proceeding further with the new project, saying that it would amount to diversion of 6.61 tmcft water from the ‘dead storage level’ of the Kandaleru reservoir.
“There is no water allocation for this as per the Inter-state water sharing agreements. All known procedures are violated in this case,” he said.
Mr. Chandramohan Reddy wondered as to how a Rs. 7,390-crore project was cleared when just Rs. 4,000-crore was spent over a period of 30 years to execute the Telugu Ganga Project works, which has created irrigation potential for 5 lakh acres so far besides supplying drinking water to Chennai, Srikalahasti, Chittoor and other towns in the vicinity.
‘Kiran, Anam hand in glove’
Venkatagiri MLA Kurugonda Ramakrishna and TDP district president Beeda Ravichandra said that the project seemed to be a deal between the Chief Minister and Finance Minister. They threatened the project contractors that they would damage the pipelines which might be laid under the new project in Nellore district.
The TDP leaders deplored that the government resorted to ‘this big fraud’ when the entire State was mired in a crisis over the bifurcation of the State. They alleged that Rs. 100 crore had already been collected illegally from the contractors.