YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Monday accused Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu of starving irrigation projects in Kadapa district of funds and leaving farmers in the lurch.
Mr. Reddy, who led a massive dharna of farmers in front of the Pulivendula tahsildar office, demanded disbursal of compensation to farmers and the people of 22 villages who were displaced by the Gandikota project. Mr. Naidu had been merely showering promises since three years but lacked the commitment to pay compensation to the displaced and complete projects, he said.
The Gandikota reservoir, envisaged to store 26 tmcft of water, would have got 22,000 cusecs of water a day from the Srisailam reservoir, and release of eight tmcft to Chitravathi and Pydipalem projects, 3 tmc to Sarvarayasagar, 1.6 tmcft to Vamikonda and 10 tmcft to Mylavaram reservoir if the government had completed the Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi project, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy asserted.
Demands water for Chitravathi
The Opposition leader demanded completion of irrigation projects in the district and issuance of orders to divert water from the Tungabhadra river to the Chitravathi project, Pulivendula and Lingala branch canals. Almost 80 per cent of works under the Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi project were completed, but the Naidu government was releasing meagre funds to complete the remaining 20 per cent works.
Prakasam barrage got 48 tmcft water from the Pattiseema project, which has no storage, and 58 tmcft went to the sea, but orders were not issued to release water from the Srisailam reservoir downstream, the YSRC president said.
The government abruptly stopped release of water on December 22 to the Chitravathi project having a present water storage of 1.15 tmcft and driving head of 0.9 tmcft, affecting filling of storage tanks in Pulivendula and Lingala tanks and release of 41 tmcft for catering to drinking water needs of Kadiri and Dharmavaram towns in Anantapur district, he said.
Chitravathi was allotted 3.2 tmcft as against a capacity to store 10 tmcft. There was 60 per cent loss of water released from Mid-Pennar reservoir before it reached the Chitravathi project. As Tungabhadra water was insufficient, Krishna water was the only option.
Mr. Chandrababu Naidu starved irrigation projects of funds during his nine-year stint in the past, but the subsequent Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government released Rs.4,000 crore to Galeru Nagari and Handri Neeva projects and the projects made considerable headway, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy said.
The Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet was merely planning to grab farmers’ land and allot them to the rich entrepreneurs, and bungled the loan waiver to farmers, he alleged. The government had to waive crop loans to the tune of Rs.24,000 crore and term loans of Rs. 10,000 crore, but it merely waived loans of Rs.4,700 crore so far, he said.
The cropping area in the State fell by nine lakh acres, but the government was not concerned, Mr. Reddy said. He urged the Chief Minister to empathise with farmers and take steps to mitigate their woes.