Lifeline of Chittoor farmers under threat

K. Umashanker
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Both the Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) and Galeru-Nagari Srujala Sravanthi (GNSS) projects are considered the lifelines of farming activities in Rayalaseema. But thanks to the division of the State, serious doubts have cropped up over the execution of works. So much so, speculation is rife that the projects could be even shelved.

GNSS is designed to draw 38 TMC water to irrigate 3.25 lakh acre land in Kadapa, Chittoor and Nellore districts, the HNSS is designed to irrigate 6.10 lakh acre land in Anantapur, Kurnool, Kadapa and Chittoor districts by drawing 40 TMC of water. However, the Tribunal has rationed the surplus waters among the riparian States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. With upstream States set to stock the excess waters, the downstream region of Rayalaseema is unlikely to have its share.

A big relief is that the Tribunal allocated 29 TMC to the Telugu Ganga project. The Somasila and Kandaleru in Nellore district, which supply water to Telugu Ganga project to Chittoor district, stand affected with the recent developments. In the aftermath of bifurcation of the State, the drinking water needs of Chennai, which is aided by the Kandaleru reservoir, could take a beating.

The tail-end Chittoor district does not have a single perennial river.

“The Centre should intervene immediately and solve the dangerous water problem in the region. Any water imbalance in Srisailam reservoir will dry up the Pothireddipadu head regulator scheme which, in turn, will endanger the HNSS and GNSS projects.”

Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu, TDP Leader

“The only solution to bring justice to Rayalaseema with regard to water issue is to implement the Sribagh Agreement of 1937 and rights to exploit the surplus waters by the region. In future, agitations for water will flare up in this region.”

Bhuman Subramanya Reddy, Rayalaseema rights activist



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