Andhra Pradesh

Riparian row: ‘justice’ sought for drought-prone Prakasam

An all-party meeting convened by the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Tuesday adopted a resolution urging the Union Government to issue a gazette notification to include the Pula Subbaiah Veligonda project designed to draw Krishna water from the foreshore of the Srisailam reservoir as an ‘undisputed project’.

“Chief Minister Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy should impress upon the Centre to issue a fresh notification in this regard as the project, taken up under ‘Jalayagnam’ by then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on a priority basis, was considered an ongoing project by the Bachawat Tribunal, which decided on the share of various riparian States,” CPI district secretary M.L. Narayana said while starting the discussion.

The State government should note that the project had been envisaged to cater to the parched parts in Prakasam, Nellore and Kadapa districts, where people suffered due to high fluoride content in water, said TDP Ongole Lok Sabha unit secretary K. Srinivasa Rao.

The district had been allotted assured water by the tribunal under the Nagarjuna Sagar Right Bank Canal (NRBC). However, uncertainty loomed large in the wake of new projects being taken up by the upper riparian States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana, lamented All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee district convener Ch. Ranga Rao.

Though the district, which was in the tail-end, was entitled up to 70 tmcft of Krishna water from the Nagarjunasagar project, the ryots had not realised fully their quota even in a year when the major reservoirs on the Krishna attained full capacity due to alleged over-utilisation of water by the upper riparian districts, alleged Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Sripathi Prakasam.

Farmers in the district coming under Addanki, Darsi and Ongole branch canals of NRBC had been missing cultivation of crops in an extent of up to two lakh acres in five decades as its formation by bringing together the most backward parts in Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool districts, complained CPI(ML) New Democracy district secretary Ch. Venkateswarlu.

The future of the 72,000 acre ayacut coming under the Krishna western delta in the district had become a big question mark now allegedly due to projects designed to draw Krishna water even when the level at Srisailam was 800 feet, feared Congress farmers wing State vice-president V. Rajagopala Reddy.

Poura Samajam president Narasimha Rao said ‘historic injustice’ had been meted out to the district at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh by leaving the most backward Prakasam district from the list of districts selected for provision of Bundelkhand-like special economic assistance by the Centre. The district should be included as the eighth district in the list of backward districts comprising four in Rayalaseema and three in north-coastal Andhra Pradesh, he added.


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 5:01:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/riparian-row-justice-sought-for-drought-prone-prakasam/article35572909.ece

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