Staff Reporter

Says Government will spend Rs. 10,000 cr. on irrigation sector

Khammam district to benefit the mostFarmers from nearby expect something from projectsTribals facing displacement will get a fair deal

KHAMMAM: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday laid the foundation for two major lift irrigation projects -- Indirasagar and Rajiv Sagar -- aimed at diverting Godavari waters for extending irrigation facility to over four lakh acres in Khammam, Krishna and West Godavari districta with an outlay of Rs. 3,681crores.

Khammam will be the major beneficiary of the two schemes as over 3.3 lakh acres -- mainly the upland areas in the district would be brought under cultivation besides stabilising the existing ayacut under different sources.

Priority area

Addressing a public meeting after laying the stone for the Indira Sagar lift scheme at Gummadivalli village in Aswaraopet mandal,

the Chief Minister said irrigation would be the priority area of the Government. Over Rs. 10,000 crores would be spent on the irrigation sector in the next financial year. He made it clear that the Government would not be awaiting any funding sources to implement irrigation projects. All the projects taken up would be implemented with regular budgetary allocations.

It would be so even with Indirasagar ( Rudramkota) and Rajiv Sagar (Dummugudem) lifts. He said people in the region could enjoy the fruits of the two lift schemes very soon as they would be would be completed under a time-bound programme. He said farmers from nearby areas had also been asking for water under the same projects.

Tribals' concerns

On the displacement of tribals by the Polavaram project, he said every family would get its due. They would stand to gain more than what they were going to lose. Every family would get a compensation of about Rs 1.5 lakhs. About 36,000 acres of land owned by tribal farmers would be affected by the project. The submersion caused by the project would be much less than the flood-time inundation. The case of tribal farmers who had no pattas in support of their land ownership would also be considered favourably.

Union Minister of State for Tourism Renuka Chowdhury, Minister for Irrigation Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Minister for Municipal Administration Koneru Ranga Rao, Minister for Social Welfare Redya Naik, Kavuri Sambhasiva Rao, M.P, Jalagam Venkata Rao, Ramreddy Venkata Reddy, Paul Raj, Chanumolu Venkata Rao, M. Pratap Appa Rao, all MLAs, and P. Sudhakar Reddy, Congress leader were among those who attended.