Staff Reporter

`Srisialam branch canal and Hundri-Neeva will change the face of Kurnool district'

KURNOOL: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy on Saturday said all sub-schemes of Guru Raghavendra Project would be completed by next khariff season to stabilize 50,000 acres ayacut under the Tungabhadra Low Level Canal.

The Chief Minister formally inaugurated and released water from the Sugur Minor Irrigation tank, which is part of the project, at Vagarur near Yemmiganur in Kurnool district. The tank with a capacity of 134 mcft was the only minor irrigation scheme of the project while the remaining 11 were lifts.

On fast track

Dr. Reddy told a public meeting at the Cooperative Society Grounds at Yemmiganur that the Government speeded up work on the Guru Raghavendra project after coming to power. He recalled that as opposition leader in the Assembly he was concerned about the delay in execution of the project and had planted trees at foundation stones in 2003 to remind the then Government of the neglect.

The Chief Minister promised to take up modernisation of the Tungabhadra Low Level Canal at the earliest in order to ensure discharge of sufficient quantity of water at the Karnataka border. He said the Gorakal reservoir on the Srisailam Right Bank Canal (SRBC) and the Hundri Neeva Project would change the face of Kurnool district.

Under the Congress stewardship, the farmers would not be allowed to become paupers. According to him, the State Government waged a bitter legal battle and got the prices of Bt Cottonseed slashed to Rs. 750 per a packet of 450 grams.

Child workers

Turning attention to the serious problem of child workers in Yemmiganur area, he said 70,000 child workers were detected in the district. He wanted parents to send the children to school instead of seed cotton fields.

Slogan-shouting

The Chief Minister was annoyed when the AISF activists persisted with the slogans at the meeting despite Dr. Reddy's request. They were demanding university status to the PG centre at Kurnool, degree colleges for each constituency and scholarships for students of weaker sections.

Ministers -- K. Rosaiah and M. Mareppa, MP Kotla Jayasuryaprakasa Reddy and MLAs were present. Yemmiganur MLA Y. Kesava Reddy presided.

At Rajampet in Kadapa district, the Chief Minister vowed to complete all pending irrigation projects in Rayalaseema region, particularly the perennially drought-prone Kadapa district in the next four years.

Completion of Galeru Nagari, Handri Neeva, Veligallu, Lingala Canal and Pydipalem lift irrigation scheme in the district would make the district fertile like Krishna delta, Dr. Reddy said.