Krishna District Irrigation Advisory Board meet witnesses heated debate on the issue
VIJAYAWADA: Legislators of upland Assembly constituencies and distributory committee members on Tuesday created a rumpus in the Krishna District Irrigation Advisory Board meeting, demanding adequate water for the third zone of Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP).
Gannavaram MLA Mudraboyina Venkateswara Rao was on his feet the moment NSP Superintendent Engineer Rajeswara Prasad said that 1,000 cusecs of water would be released from NSP on the scheduled date of November 15. The MLA said irrigation officials had been announcing year after year that water was being released, but “not a drop was reaching farmers” in the respective ayacut.
After much verbal bombardment, the Superintending Engineer confessed that only 300 cusecs could initially be released, that too on November 25. He said the release of water would be delayed because the level of water in Palair tank was only 13 feet as against the full tank level of 23 feet. At least 10 days were required to ‘build up’ the level in the tank, he informed the advisory board.
Nuzvid MLA Meka Venkata Pratapa Appa Rao said that farmers in the NSP area suffered losses when they sowed a crop in anticipation of water being released from the project last season.
Kankipadu MLA Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru) endorsed Mr. Venkateswara Rao’s claim that livestock had perished for want of drinking water. Mr. Rajasekhar said he became familiar with the area when he was a Minister of Command Area Development. Bapulapadu Distributory Committee president Alla Gopala Krishna said unless 2,000 cusecs were released, there was no way water could flow by gravity into all the 18 major channels that were on the NSP canal. He said there was a damaged under-tunnel at kilometre 66 that was a bottleneck and which required urgent attention. Also, there were a few illegal cross bunds at kilometre 83 that were obstructing flow of water. He demanded that the cross bunds be removed immediately, so that water flowed into field channels in Krishna district.
The Superintending Engineer said that the cross bunds were required to ensure that water entered the channels that were situated at a height. These cross bunds would be replaced by regulators as part of the modernisation programme in the next couple of years.