Kiran to lay foundation for the Rs. 785 crore High Level Canal Project

The Somasila High Level (Lift Irrigation) Canal Project, which is aimed at providing irrigation water to 90,000 acres in upland areas, will involve land acquisition, widening of existing canals and construction of lifts at a total cost of Rs. 785 crore.

Under the project, as much as five tmcft of Pennar flood water will be drawn from the Somasila reservoir to supply irrigation water in six drought-prone mandals in Atmakur and Udayagiri assembly constituencies. Another 0.2 tmcft will be diverted to meet the drinking water needs of over 2.35 lakh population in 58 villages in the ayacut areas.

The foundation stone for the project will be laid by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy during his three-day ‘Indiramma Baata’ in Nellore district from April 1 to 3. To review the arrangements being made at Somasila, Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, District Collector B. Sridhar and Superintendent of Police B.V. Ramana Kumar visited the venue.

“The project will create an additional ayacut of 90,000 acres. It will not only supply irrigation water but also help in preventing migration of agricultural families,” said Mr. Ramnarayana Reddy. The six mandals, which will benefit from the high level canal, are Marripadu, Vinjamur, Duttalur, Udayagiri, Atmakur and Anantasagaram.

The chief engineer of NTR Telugu Ganga Project, Srikalahasti, got a detailed project report prepared, which outlined works to be taken at a cost of Rs. 799.10 crore. Later, the Government gave an administrative sanction for taking up the project at Rs. 785 crore.

The total length of the canal system under this project is 59 kms with gravity canals extending for 37 kms and conveyance canals for 22 kms. There will be a total of eight lifts and seven reservoirs along the route.

District Collector B. Sridhar said that the high level canal was aimed at ushering in the overall socio-economic development of the region with immense scope to be created in employment generation, fisheries, poultry, horticulture and so on. This is in addition to the increased production in agriculture.

Funds released

Towards acquiring the lands necessary for the project and for construction works, the government has already released Rs. 133 crore. Once completed, the project is expected to fulfil the long-cherished dream of the people of upland areas in the district to witness agricultural growth and prosperity.