The laying of foundation stone for Nagarjunasagar project entered the 60th year on Wednesday. The first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone on December 10, 1955.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi released the water from the left and right bank canal on August 4, 1967 13 years after her father laid the foundation stone for the project. The right canal was named after the Nehru and the left canal was named after the second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Nehru termed the project as ‘temple of modern India’ while laying the foundation. Proving him right, the project, after construction was completed, brought remarkable change in the lives of lakhs of people in five districts.
Speaking to The Hindu , a 65-year-old farmer from Nidamanur, K. Pitchaiah, said his parents and grandparents found it hard to earn even two square meals a day. However, since the day they started receiving water from the left bank canal in the late 60s, the world changed for them. Cultivating two crops in a year, he said they were able to provide quality education and food to their children, something which was deprived to them during their childhood. Speaking to The Hindu , Executive Engineer Vishnuprasad said the first chief engineer of the project M. Jaffer Ali executed the works.
The then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Neelma Sanjeeva Reddy, had laid foundation stone for a bridge downstream Nagarjuasagar reservoir, Vijaya Vihar Guest House and many other projects. The multi-purpose project provides irrigation water to 23 lakh acres in Nalgonda, Guntur, Prakasam, Khammam and Krishna districts. According to records available, as many as 50,000 people took part in the construction of the largest masonry dam ever built on the earth. About 5,000 families from 44 villages were displaced by the project. The project generates over 1,600 million units from main power house, left and right bank canal hydro power projects in a year.