Comprehensive water policy to drive away drought, says Naidu

Government to adopt a four-pronged strategy to ensure farmers’ welfare

Published - January 08, 2018 12:25 am IST - KURNOOL

Stock-taking:  Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu being briefed by Collector S. Satyanarayana about the Siddhapuram irrigation canal on Sunday.

Stock-taking: Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu being briefed by Collector S. Satyanarayana about the Siddhapuram irrigation canal on Sunday.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu asserted on Sunday that his government would implement a comprehensive policy to ensure judicious utilisation of water and drive away drought.

Mr. Naidu performed ‘Jalasiriki harathi’ and launched the Budda Vengal Reddy lift irrigation at Siddhapuram in Atmakur mandal in Kurnool district, constructed with an outlay of ₹119 crore, aimed at irrigating 25,000 acres and supplying drinking water to 12 villages in Atmakur mandal.

Addressing a Janmabhoomi Maa Ooru gram sabha at Siddhapuram, Mr. Naidu said his goal was to free the State from the drought pangs by optimal utilisation of the natural resources and available water sources. He would adopt a four-pronged strategy to ensure farmers’ welfare, judicious water use, Vanam Manam and tapping solar energy for development. The government ensured stabilisation of water to 15.75 lakh acres by developing 40,817 ponds and tanks. To avert wastage, 59,176 checkdams were built and ground water availability had been augmented by digging 6.32 lakh ponds in the fields. Despite rainfall deficiency of 30% compared to the previous year, the State recorded 26.5% growth rate, while the national average was only 2.1%, he asserted.

An outlay of ₹50,000 was spent on irrigation projects and river linkage and linking of tanks were taken up to avert scarcity, the Chief Minister said. He emphasised on water audit in all areas. Water was supplied to 1.30 crore acres out of 2 crore acres of cultivable land. His aim was to supply water to the tailend ayacut and transform the State into Harithandhrapradesh.

Gram sabhas were conducted at 16,000 places and people’s problems were being enlisted and resolved by activating the official machinery. He reiterated that power tariff would not be enhanced. He promised completion of the Pulikanuma and Pulakurthy water schemes soon.

Nearly 143 tmcft water was brought to Kurnool district through various projects, the world’s largest solar plant was established at Sakunala and a seed development centre was started at Nandyal, he said. Noting that Atmakur area had considerable Muslim population, he announced sanction of a burial ground, compound wall for an Idgah and a Urdu residential school for minority girls.

Mr. Naidu sanctioned a two-lane road to the pilgrim centre Omkaram, 1,000 more houses in Atmakur and a NTR smrithi vanam. District Collector S. Satyanarayana said water was supplied to 16,000 acres through the HNSS canal and 3.30 lakh acres under the KC Canal.

Deputy Chief Minister K.E. Krishnamurthy, Council chairman N. Md. Farooq, district in charge Minister Kalava Srinivasulu, Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya, Kurnool MP Butta Renuka, MLC K.E. Prabhakar, Zilla Parishad chairman M. Rajasekhar Goud, MLAs B. Jayanageswar Reddy, Budda Rajasekhar Reddy, Mani Gandhi, Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, Irrigation Secretary Sashibhushan Kumar, Srisailam temple EO N. Bharat Gupta, Joint Collector Prasanna Venkatesh and KUDA chairman Somisetty Cenkateswarlu were present.

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