G. Nagaraja

Canals to be closed for 70 days to facilitate delta modernisation

Shortage of tankers becomes major hindrance

Fool-proof method sought to overcome water crisis

ELURU: The West Godavari district, endowed with rich water resources and canal system, is all set to experience ‘water rationing’ in the ensuing summer in view of the proposed Godavari delta modernisation programme.

The canals supplying water for irrigation and drinking water to habitations downstream will remain closed from April 10 for more than 70 days to facilitate the Rs. 791 crore modernisation programme.

According to Ramamohan Rao, Superintending Engineer, Rural Water Supply Department, the administration has taken up water audit in the villages to be affected by the modernisation works in terms of drinking water supply.

Critical areas

Briefing the members of the District Review Committee (DRC) at a meeting here on Friday, he said it was decided to supply 30 litres of water to each house-hold daily in these habitations as against the requirement of 40 litres as part of ‘rationing’ to overcome the critical situation.

As many as 186 habitations were identified as ‘critical’ areas with regard to the availability of drinking water and it was proposed to supply water to these villages by tankers, he said.

But shortage of tankers became a major hindrance for execution of an action plan devised for the purpose, he added.

The plan intended to lift water for supply to the vulnerable habitations from a distance of 10 km, he said while estimating that the water transport required Rs. 2.3 crore.

Although the canals would remain closed for 70 days, the ‘water emergency’ would continue for 80 days as it would take not less than 10 days for the Godavari water to reach villages from the Dhavaleswaram Barrage ever since the reopening of the canals , he explained. Meanwhile, the official proposal for water rationing drew sharp criticism from the opposition TDP.

Former minister and TDP MLA Kothapalli Subbarayudu wondered how the officials would enforce rationing in water consumption.

Eluru MLA from the Congress Alla Kalikrishna Srinivas sought fool-proof measures to ensure against water crisis in Eluru during the period.

It may be recalled that the government had programmed to modernise the Godavari bunds, all the canals and their subsidiaries under nine packages in the Godavari western delta system.