B.V.S. Bhaskar

Irrigation officials drawing up fresh proposals to send to the Ministry

RAJAHMUNDRY: The declaration of Kakinada-Pondicherry canal stretch as National Waterway-4 is under active consideration of the Centre and the State government has requested the Ministry concerned to take up the NW-4 in three phases.

The issue regarding preference of Samalkot canal to Kakinada canal for inclusion in the NW-4 has been discussed with the senior officials and field functionaries of the Irrigation Department during the second week of this month. Now, the irrigation officials are preparing fresh proposals.

The advantages of Samalkot canal when compared to that of Kakinada are more. Both Kakinada and Samalkot canals run almost parallel up to Kakinada. Both the canals have connectivity with the Kakinada Port. The Samalkot canal has a better road link as the State Highway from Rajahmundry to Kakinada traverses parallel to the Samalkot canal. Hence it is easy to transport cargo from the adjoining hinterland. The railway track also runs parallel to the Samalkot canal from Rajahmundry to Kakinada, which is an added advantage for the transportation of cargo as well as passengers. There are various industries located adjacent to the State Highway running parallel to the Samalkot canal like Kadiyam Paper Mill, Deccan Sugars and Sri Venkatrama Oil industries. The hydraulic particulars of Kakinada and Samalkot canals are –length of Kakinda canal is 47.22 km, whereas the Samalkot canal is 59.69 km.

Two bridges are required for modification in Kakinada canal for the design vessel to pass, whereas in Samalkot canal all the bridges meet the navigation requirement. The lock chambers of both the canals meet the requirement of navigation criteria. However, lock gates of both the canals require repair and servicing before made to operational for the navigation. The tentative cost for development of Samalkot canal is Rs.50 crores whereas Kakinada canal costs Rs.100 crores.