Tunga HLC water release from July 30

ANANTAPUR, JULY 12.The Irrigation Advisory Board (IAB) of the district, which met here on Wednesday, has decided to release water to the canals under Tungabhadra High Level Canal (HLC) system from July 30. Accordingly, the release of water to various canals of the system would be from July 30 to August 25 as per a time-table adopted by the meeting.

On the requests of several legislators, who were present, the District Collector, Mr. Somesh Kumar, assured them that they would try to advance the release of water to all canals by about four days. The members also urged the IAB to extend the water closing date to December 15.

The Superintending Engineer of HLC, Mr. T. S. Kameswara Rao, said water from Tungabhdra dam would be released on July 16 and it would reach the A.P. border by July 19. It would be released to the high level main canal on July 30, to Guntakal branch canal on August 4, to Alur branch canal, Gooty sub-branch canal, mid Pennar north canal and mid Pennar south canal on August 15 and to Tadipatri and Pulivendula branch canals on August 25.

A minimum of 26.061 tmc ft of water would be released to the HLC system this year. Another 10 tmc ft water would be diverted from K.C. canal system to HLC if the Government agreed to a proposal by the district.

The water would be used for cultivating wet crops in 0.68 lakh acres and irrigated dry crops in 2.26 lakh acres.

In reply to a question by the Tadipatri legislator, Mr. J. C. Diwakar Reddy, as to why the water allocation had come down this year compared to last year (about 30 tmc ft), the Executive Engineer of HLC, Mr. Muralidhar, said it was more last year due to additional releases. He stated that wet crops were cultivated in about 7,000 acres last year instead of irrigated dry crops.

Several Congress legislators sought to know as to why the transmission/seepage losses were projected similar to that of last year (14 per cent) in spite of modernisation works. The SE said that as the modernisation works were not complete the losses were not calculated afresh.

Mr. J. C. Diwakar Reddy pointed out that water cess was collected from farmers under Putlur tank though water was not released to them last year. He mentioned that farmers of thousands of acres were paying cess though water was not being released to their fields. The SE assured him that he would look into it.

Several members urged the Government to allocate funds for maintenance of canals kilometer-wise instead of acreage-wise. The issue of breached tanks, desiltation, minor irrigation projects under progress, works taken up under APERP were also discussed at the meeting.

The legislators - Messrs N. Raghuveera Reddy, Y. Sivarami Reddy, B. Narayana Reddy, K. Jayaram, P. Raghunatha Reddy and R. Sainath Gowd the Anantapur MP, Mr. K. Sreenivasulu, the Joint Collector, Mr. J. C. Parthasarathi, the SE (irrigation) Mr. V. Rangaswamy, the SE of Handri- Neeva, Mr. Raghupathi and other officials attended the meeting.