B. Chandrashekhar

Land acquisition to dig up distributaries yet to start

Foundation stone for the project, at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 crore, was laid in 1991

Elections delay the relief and rehabilitation works, say officials

ANANTAPUR: Delay in acquisition of land required for excavation of distributaries is likely to put back the realisation of three-decade-old dream of a few villages in Pedda Pappuru and Tadipatri mandals in the district to wet their lands with water from Chagallu reservoir. Plans for construction of a reservoir across the Penna River near Chagallu village in Pedda Pappuru mandal began in 1991 when the then Chief Minister M. Channa Reddy laid foundation stone for the project at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 crore. However, meagre funds, which were released were utilised for the construction of a few quarters

Shelved

The project was shelved after TDP assumed power in 1994.Construction of the reservoir was taken up again by the Congress Government as part of ‘Jalayagnam’ in 2005. It was taken up as part of PABR Stage-II or Yadiki Branch Canal system with at a cost of Rs. 245 crore to irrigate 6,100 acres.

The contract of construction of the reservoir was given to Navayuga Constructions and deadline was set for October 2007. However, work could not be grounded for one year due to problems in land acquisition and deadline was extended till October 2008.

Deadline extended

Hurdles in the construction of two out of 16 vents of the reservoir spillway due seepage water extended the deadline till July 2009. About 95 per cent of the 1.763 km earthen dam and 563 metre saddle were completed already, apart from 300 metre spillway in which one vent was yet to be taken up, he stated. The reservoir would be ready to hold dead storage once the spillway was completed. It is designed to hold 1.8 TMC ft live storage with 1.5 TMC ft as effective storage. Once completed, the spillway could discharge 3.42 lakh cusecs in full flow.

Excavation and construction of 10 km main canal was also completed, but land acquisition for 25 km distributaries is yet to be taken up. “Elections have delayed relief and rehabilitation including the process of land acquisition for distributaries. About 85 per cent of the Rs. 65 crore meant for R&R has already been disbursed”, Executive Engineer of Major Irrigation Narasaraju told The Hindu .

Meanwhile, villagers of Tabjula, Singanaguttapalli, Chinna Yekkaluru and Ullikuntapalli have refused to shift near Singanaguttapalli due to lack of amenities.