Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari has revealed plans to take the backwaters of the Godavari up to the Cauvery river in Tamil Nadu through Krishna and Penna using steel pipes instead of developing canals en route as suggested by a non-resident engineer from Andhra Pradesh. By doing so, wastage of water from canals could be prevented and overall cost reduced, he opines.
Addressing the BJP meeting here on Monday, Mr. Gadkari said: “The DPR for the river inter-linking project has already been prepared and is in the process of being submitted to the Cabinet. It is estimated to cost ₹60,000 crore.”
Claiming that the Central government was spending 100% of the funds for the Polavaram project and 62% physical progress was achieved with the cooperation of the State government, he said it was his personal responsibility to ensure its completion as per the schedule.
Mr. Gadkari said 1,100 tmcft of the backwater of the Godavari river was going into the sea and there was a dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over 45 tmcft of it.
“To solve the crisis, the Centre has decided to link up the above rivers and once the Cabinet gives its nod, funds will be raised from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank. It will mitigate the scarcity of water in A.P., Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.” It was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who conceived the idea of linking rivers from Ganga to Cauvery, he recalled.
Mr. Gadkari said his Ministry sanctioned the Amaravati-Anantapur express highway which costs nearly ₹20,000 crore.
The DPR for this highway which passes through Guntur, Anantapur, Kurnool and Prakasam districts and provides the much-needed connectivity to Amaravati and Rayalaseema, was in the final stages of preparation. It would have tunnels measuring 9.41 km, 23 flyovers, 110 vehicle overpasses, 36 major bridges and six ROBs.
Chittoor and Nellore were being transformed into coastal economic zones and it was proposed to develop Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts as nodes in the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor, he added.