Of 1,480 tmcft Godavari water allocated, only 680 tmcft is being used
3,000 tmcft was being discharged into the sea due to lack of infrastructureGovernment plans to create a new ayacut of 74 lakh acres within five yearsBlueprint prepared for the modernisation of irrigation systems 15 lakh acres
VIJAYAWADA: The State Government is adopting a three-pronged strategy to make optimum use of available water. Though 2,700 tmcft of water has been allocated to Andhra Pradesh, the State has infrastructure only to utilise 1,700 tmcft, says Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah.
Mr. Lakshmaiah, who came here on Friday to participate in the Krishna Mahotsav, said the Government had planned to create a new ayacut of 74 lakh acres and stabilise another 15 lakh acres of the existing ayacut within five years. Farmers would be encouraged to make optimum utilisation of water pumped by lift irrigation schemes by using sprinklers and drip irrigation systems, he said.
About 40 lakh acres had irrigation facility in the State at the time of Independence. The ayacut of all the projects taken up after Independence was just 32 lakh acres. The new ayacut being created under 'Jalayagnam' programme in the State was more than the ayacut created in the State over centuries. The Government was able to begin work on eight pending irrigation projects in just two years and it would take up all 18 projects soon, he said.
A lot of water was going waste, because the State lacked the infrastructure needed to harness it. Andhra Pradesh was allocated 1,480 tmcft of Godavari water by the tribunal, but only 680 tmcft was being utilised. Every year, nearly 3,000 tmcft was being discharged into the sea.
The State Government had prepared a blue print for the modernisation of irrigation systems for the benefit of farmers in 15 lakh acres. Plans for modernisation of Nagarjuna Sagar ayacut at an estimated cost of Rs 3,000 crores were nearing finalisation. The modernisation of Krishna delta with Rs 1,500 crores, Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) Channel with Rs 88 crores, Ghanpur ayacut (Medak) with Rs 8 crores, Nizam Sagar ayacut with Rs 35 crores and Kadem ayacut (Adilabad) with Rs 28 crores were in the pipeline, the minister said.
The State Government planned to make the best of the Rs. 2,000-crore Central Government scheme to optimise the use of water in the ayacut of existing and future lift irrigation schemes.
The lift irrigation schemes in just one district like Krishna had an ayacut of 67,000 acres, he said.