Centre identifies six waterways for inland navigation
NIWA chief Mathur makes a brief visit to Ramayapatnam Major Irrigation Engineer-in-Chief accompanies him
ONGOLE: National Inland Waterways Authority Chairman Mathur made a fleeting visit to Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district to study feasibility of reviving inland water transport in Buckingham canal. He cancelled his scheduled visit to Pedaganjam and rushed back to New Delhi on some urgent office work.
Major Irrigation Engineer-in-Chief Rehman, who accompanied him, later told newspersons that the first phase of reviving inland water transport from Kakinada to Chennai might be completed in the next five years for vessels with carrying capacity of 100 tons to sail in the waters.
Mr. Rehman said the Centre identified six waterways for inland navigation in Andhra Pradesh. They were Kakinada-Rajahmundry (Godavari canal), Dowlaiswaram-Vijayawada (Eluru canal), Vijayawada-Pedaganjam (Kommamuru Krishna canal) and Pedaganjam-Chennai (Buckingham canal), where navigation existed during British days and Dowlaiswaram-Bhadrachalam in the Godavari river course and Vijayawada-Miryalaguda in Krishna river course. Water and Power Corporation has begun survey of these routes for navigation of 100 ton vessels in the first phase and 300 ton vessels in the second phase, to identify land available, construction of regulators and bridges to suit navigation etc. It will submit a detailed project report in the next two months.
As navigation required a clearance of 4.2 metres from the water surface, many old bridges had to be replaced. The canals are to be widened to a bed width of 14 metres and water depth should be 1.8 meters for the vessels to sail in the first phase.
The canals need modernisation and bridges need reconstruction to meet these standards.
Mr. Rehman said he had urged the Chairman that these works should not hamper free flow of water in the canals to meet irrigation needs of farmers.
He also informed the Chairman that 1.8-metre water depth would be possible for nine months in Godavari delta where two crops were raised.