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Worn-out lining of Nagarjunasagar left canal worries villagers

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SILENT HAZARD: The ramshackled lining of the Nagarajuna Sagar left canal at Vemulapally in Nalgonda district is a potential danger. PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL
SILENT HAZARD: The ramshackled lining of the Nagarajuna Sagar left canal at Vemulapally in Nalgonda district is a potential danger. PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

S.Ramu

NSP officials to release water into canal today

Cement concrete lining washed away at certain pointsEroded bund is susceptible to breachesImproper repairs irk villagers

MIRYALAGUDA (NALGONDA DT): The lining of Nagarjunasagar left canal, also called Lal Bahadur canal, is in a bad shape at many points posing a threat to the surrounding fields and villages.

While the cement concrete lining was washed away at some points, marbles fixed along the canal were stolen away by miscreants at many places. Heaps of broken stones can be seen on the bed even as Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) officials are all set to release water for the canal on Friday.

In the absence of reliable lining, the bund got eroded at some places making it susceptible to breaches and leaks.

"We are happy to know that they are going to release water for the kharif crop but at the same time we are worried about the very weak lining at our village," Challa Narasimha, a farmer of Vemulapally told The Hindu .

Potential threat

Pointing out to a plugged breach on the right side of the canal near the village, he said: "last year we plugged it with hundreds of sandbags. Danger lurks near the lift irrigation station at the left side of the canal as a major portion of bund was washed away."

Another ryot Jada Narasimha found fault with the officials for failing to take up full-scale repair works. "We are all worried about the safety of the canal. If untoward things happen during night time, villages will be just wiped out," he maintained.

Since August 4, 1967- the day water was released into the canals by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi - proper repairs were not taken up though the total expenditure incurred on the project reached Rs.1,181.35 crores by March, 2005.

In a souvenir released to mark the occasion of the project's golden jubilee celebrations in December last, NSP claimed that the cement concrete lining from 0.00 km to 10.00 km of Wazeerabad major, using AGRU HDPE micro-spike liner material as pilot project with technical collaboration of an Austrian company was taken up at an estimated cost of Rs.12 crores.

Demand for strong lining

"We don't mind if they take up repair works by suspending supply of water for one or two crops. What we want is a pakka lining," another ryot Gundagoni Mallaiah Yadav said. The Miryalaguda MLA Julakanti Ranga Reddy of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said that the lining needed immediate attention.

The Chief Engineer in charge of NSP Abdul Basheer said that canals would be strengthened as part of modernization of the project with Rs.2250 crores borrowed from the World Bank as loan component.


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