Special Correspondent

Contingency plan to ensure irrigation to Godavari delta

Ponnala writes letter to Maharashtra government

Water also to be tapped from six other sources

HYDERABAD: The State government has requested Maharashtra to release at least 10 tmcft. of water from the Jaikwadi project to save the standing rabi crop in the Godavari delta.

Worst-ever shortage

It has made this request through a letter addressed by Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah to the Maharashtra government as part of a contingency plan to ensure water supply to the delta where farmers are facing one of the worst-ever shortage of water this year. The plan also seeks to tap water from six other sources.

B. V. S. Prakasa Rao, engineer-in-chief, Telugu Ganga, who has been appointed as special officer to tackle the crisis in the delta, told this correspondent here on Saturday that it was proposed to withdraw 1 tmcft. of water from Yeleru project to serve eastern parts of the delta, and a sizeable quantity from the Prakasam Barrage at Vijayawada through its eastern canal to benefit the western region of the delta.

At the same time, water was being released from the Kinnerasani dam (2.4 tmcft. for the present) and Sileru hydro-electric project (0.5 tmcft. daily). Besides, borewells in the delta had been activated to the extent possible and power was being properly supplied.

Sufficient storage

According to Mr. Rao, the government was pinning high hopes on Maharashtra, which was in a position to come to the rescue of farmers since there was sufficient storage of water (70 tmcft.) in Jaikwadi dam.

If water is released from there, it will reach Sriramsagar, from where an equal quantum of water will be let out to the Godavari delta.

He said engineers were building up the pond level in Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Rajahmundry as the canals taking off to the Godavari delta from there had been temporarily closed. The canals would be reopened when the crops reach the flowering stage. Mr. Rao affirmed that the rabi crop in the delta would be saved under all circumstances.