Opposition parties express concern over poor maintenance of canals, tanks in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram districts

Farmers lost crops worth crores in the last couple of years with the insufficient supply of water from Thotapalli, Vamsadhara canals, allege opposition parties

Published - May 20, 2024 08:00 pm IST - SRIKAKULAM/VIZIANAGARAM

Vizianagaram TDP MP candidate Kalisetti Appala Naidu seen inspecting a tank in Laveru village of Vizianagaram Parliamentary constituency recently.

Vizianagaram TDP MP candidate Kalisetti Appala Naidu seen inspecting a tank in Laveru village of Vizianagaram Parliamentary constituency recently.

Opposition parties asked the government to focus on the maintenance of river canals from both Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, as repairs needed to be taken up in the summer season. According to them, the government failed to concentrate on the maintenance of canals for the smooth flow of water from irrigation projects to fields, including the tail end areas. The farmers lost crops worth crores in the last couple of years with the insufficient supply of water from Thotapalli, Vamsadhara canals.

Vamsadhara project, which was supposed to provide water for nearly 62,280 acres in 165 villages of Srikakulam district, is unable to supply it to even 40,000 acres due to the poor maintenance of canals in Pathapatnam, Amadalavalasa, Srikakulam and other areas. The actual utilisation has to be 7.353 thousand million cubics (tmc), but it was said to be below 5 tmcs.

Srikakulam Congress Committee president and Srikakulam MP candidate Pedada Parameswara Rao alleged that at least ₹500 crore was needed for repairs and maintenance of all canals, as the government had completely ignored repairs. “The irrigation department should take up temporary measures ahead of rainy season. Then only the farmers would come back to agriculture activity,” said Mr. Parameswara Rao.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Vizianagaram MP candidate Kalisetti Appala Naidu said that proper maintenance of tanks and protection from encroachments had to be given top priority, since 80 percent of the people depended on agriculture activity, both in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts.

Former Minister and Cheepurupalli TDP candidate Kala Venkata Rao said that ₹500 crore worth crop was lost in the constituency in 2023-24, as the government had failed to concentrate on irrigation. He said that optimum utilisation of water of Nagavali, Champavati, Vegavati and other rivers would ensure three crops in a year for farmers.

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