Staff Reporter

They visit a stretch of 120 km in five mandals

The canal is joined by 16 drainage channels, say villagers

YSR sanctioned Rs 30-cr water scheme for the village

BHIMAVARAM: The appalling stink and dirt in Venkayya and Vayyeru irrigation canal greeted the visiting Advisory Committee on Canal Pollution headed by district Additional Joint Collector M.V. Seshagiri Babu. As part of the endeavour of the West Godavari district administration to cleanse the canal system of pollution, the panel members took stock of the state of canal by visiting it for a stretch of 120 km falling under five revenue mandals.

The farmers and residents of villages depending on the canal for drinking water complained to the committee members that it was no longer an irrigation canal. It had become a drainage channel, for all the practical purposes, as it is joined by as many as 16 drainage channels and wastewaters from the fishponds from Parimala to Chinakapavaram, they said. The canal originates at Chilakampadu Locks near Tadepalligudem and ends up in the Upputeru creek at Elurupadu under Kalla mandal.

Faced with the complaints of polluted drinking water supply from the canal, former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy sanctioned Rs 30-crore drinking water project which intended to supply safe drinking water through pipelines bypassing the polluted canal and laid a foundation stone for it in 2004.

The advisory committee will submit a report to the Collector with its findings on the fate of canal for remedial measures.