Rs. 45,000 crores spent in last five years, he says
He allays fears over Polavaram, Sujalam Saphalam projects
Cottons touched by the warmth of the people of India
VISAKHAPATNAM: Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation Ponnala Lakshmaiah on Wednesday said the projects taken up under ‘Jalayagnam’ would be completed during the next four years.
Participating as a chief guest at a meeting organised to felicitate Robert Charles Cotton, the great grandson of Late Sir Arthur Cotton and his wife Nicolette Anne Cunliffe, at GITAM University on Wednesday, Mr. Lakshmaiah said Rs. 45,000 crores was spent on Jalayagnam during the last five years. He allayed apprehensions about the continuation of ‘Polavaram’ and ‘Sujalam Saphalam’ projects saying they would be completed as per schedule.
He said: “It was to promote agriculture that Sir Arthur Cotton had constructed dams across the Godavari 150 years ago. The great visionary had provided irrigation facilities to 10 lakh acres and helped in making the two Godavari districts the most prosperous in the country and AP as the rice bowl of India”. The Minister said: “If we can tap the allocated share of the rivers of AP, we can provide irrigation facilities to one crore acres in the State. It was with the vision of providing irrigation facilities to 50 lakh acres that the late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy had launched the ‘Jalayagnam’ project”.
Describing development as that which raises the standard of living of the people, Mr. Lakshmaiah felt that ‘Jalayagnam’ was the only solution to foster overall development of the State.
President of GITAM University M.V.V.S. Murthy spoke on the importance of interlinking of rivers. He felt that AP would be the forerunner for other states in the implementation of water projects. Chairman of AP Hindi Academy Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad recalled the contribution of Sir Arthur Cotton towards agriculture development. He described YSR as ‘modern Cotton’, who had envisioned providing irrigation facilities to all farmers in the State. Director of the Centre for Policy Studies (Gayatri Vidya Parishad) A. Prasanna Kumar said Sir Arthur Cotton had suggested measures to counter floods and famines in India one year prior to his death in England, which was a reflection of his love for India and its people.
GITAM University V-C G. Subrahmanyam, T. Shivaji Rao and former Chairman of the Institute of Engineers India, Visakhapatnam local chapter, S. Satyanarayana spoke. Responding to the felicitations, Mr. Robert Charles Cotton spoke about the family tree. Almost all of Cotton family members had served in India during the British rule.
Ms. Nicolette Anne said she was touched by the warmth of the people of India.