Shelving of the ambitious Thotapalli balancing reservoir to be constructed as part of the SRSP flood flow canal in the upland Ogulapur village of Chigurumamidi mandal is snowballing into a controversy with the land oustees and opposition parties up in arms against the State government.
The Thotapalli balancing reservoir was proposed in Obulapur village to provide water for irrigation to the upland Husnabad region in the district. Accordingly, foundation stone was laid for the project in 2007 by the then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy.
The project should have been completed in 2008 itself, but the executing agency delayed works and those taken up were carried out in an unscientific manner.
Last month, Minister for Irrigation T. Harish Rao visited the Gouravelli project of SRSP FFC and enquired about the Thotapalli reservoir. He said then that the project cost had gone up and that they had to blacklist the contractor. He had assured to call for tenders for completing the project. Following his instructions, the irrigation authorities conducted a fresh survey and found out that the project wasn’t feasible anymore as its cost would shoot up to over Rs. 500 crore but the water storing capacity would just be 0.950 tmc ft. Besides, the project would displace people of three villages. Keeping all this in mind, the officials informed the government that they can provide irrigation facilities to 49,000 acres in the region from the Mid Manair reservoir. The government had acquired about 1,200 acres of land from villagers for the project. As it failed to see the light of the day, it is planning to allot the acquired land for industries. Strongly objecting to this, the villagers are demanding that the government complete the project or return their land at the earliest. CPI district secretary K. Ramgopal Reddy said since last one decade, no development work has been taken up in the village following the announcement of the project. Abandoning the project now is nothing but injustice to the people of upland regions of the district, he said.
Mr. Ramgopal Reddy threatened to launch a series of agitations to pressurise the government to complete the project.