Two schemes to enhance water supply to Anantapur, Kadapa districts

Left with no other alternative after being cold-shouldered by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh has taken up two different schemes, costing Rs.1,175 crore, to get its full quota of water to the High Level (HLC) and Low Level (LLC) canals, both originating from Tungabhadra dam.

As a substitute to the parallel (pipeline) canal project proposed by AP along HLC, but rejected by Karnataka, a modernisation scheme costing Rs.575 crore has been taken up for lining the HLC and putting an end to the perennial problem of leakages/seepages and also deepening the canal.

On completion, the scheme is expected to ensure free flow of water from the TB dam up to its last point in Anantapur district, a distance of 196 km, and get AP’s full annual quota of 32 tmcft allocated under Bachawat Tribunal and serve Anantapur and Kadapa districts more effectively.

However, a plea is being made to Karnataka to modernise the 105-km stretch of HLC lying in that State so that AP can realise its full entitlement. At present, AP is hardly getting 15 tmcft from HLC due to pilferage by Karnataka farmers and leakages. There appears to be no solution to the problem of pilferage as Karnataka is unwilling to deploy Central forces to end the menace. R. Madhusudana Rao, chief engineer, Irrigation, Anantapur and Kurnool, said the modernisation works were in full swing. Once HLC is modernised, the ayacut of the canal might increase beyond the present 2.89 lakh acres. Besides, drinking water supply to places such as Anantapur, Guntakal, Aluru, Madakasira and Kalayandurg would be available on an assured basis.

As the State is getting only 10-15 tmcft of water into the LLC against its annual allocation of 24 tmcft, the government is preparing a blueprint to construct a dam across the Agari, a tributary of the Tungabhadra flowing from Karnataka, at an estimated cost of Rs.600 crore to impound 10 tmcft. This canal is 350 km long, but with 116 km lying in Karnataka, it is also prone to pilferage.

Two schemes to enhance water supply to Anantapur, Kadapa districts