Vijayawada

Prakasam Barrage anniversary fete today

Naidu will the chief guest; Pattiseema injects new life into it

Prakasam Barrage, a lifeline for farmers in West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts, turned 60 on Sunday. The officials of the Water Resources Department are however celebrating it four days later on Friday.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will be the chief guest of the ‘shashti poorthi’ function.

The Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme has renewed the Krishna River which is drying up because of over exploitation upstream. The scheme, which links the Krishna with the Godavari, has the capacity to pump 8,500 cusecs flood water. The link between the two rivers has renewed Krishna delta. The value of crops cultivated in 2016 kharif has been put at ₹5,500 crore by the government.

Former President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, who was then the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, inaugurated the barrage on December 24, 1957.

Designed by Cotton

The barrage has been built at a point where River Krishna passes through a narrow gorge and enters the plains of the Coramandel Coast. It replaced an anicut built by the British in 1852 a little downstream. The anicut was designed by none other than Sir Arthur Cotton and built by a naval engineer Capitain Charles Orr for the irrigation of just 5.80 lakh acres in the districts of West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam.

The anicut, built by Captain Orr, breached exactly 100 years after its construction. The present barrage was constructed between 1954 and 1957 at a cost of ₹2.278 crore. It was named after the first Chief Minister of the state Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu who laid the foundation stone. The ayacut of the barrage which is 12 feet higher than the anicut, is 13.08 lakh acres.

The celebration will be an occasion for the prosperous farmers of the Krishna Delta to thank Sir Arthur Cotton who was the main force behind the building of the anicut and Mr Naidu who is the man behind the fresh lease of life to the delta, said Water User’s Association member K. Lakshmana Rao.

Veteran engineers who were associated with the construction of the barrage will be felicitated on the occasion.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:33:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/prakasam-barrage-anniversary-fete-today/article22321335.ece

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