Minister orders probe into Thotapalli breaches


Rain damage loss in district put at Rs. 1.90 crores

MLAs, officials differ on breaches

Officials told to ensure timely completion of irrigation projects

VIZIANAGARAM: Following divergent views aired by MLAs and officials on breaches to the Thotapalli river gap following floods to the Nagavali river two days ago, district in-charge Minister M. Buddha Prasad has asked Joint Collector and Chief Engineer (irrigation) to inquire into the matter and submit a report to the government for action.

Speaking at the District Review Committee meeting at Zilla Parishad conference hall on Monday, Mr. Prasad said there should be no doubt over the quality of work done by the executing agencies. When Kolaka Lakshmana Murty, MLA of CPI (M), raised the issue, irrigation officials maintained that they themselves had breached the river gap to avert submergence of villages. Further, they said that due to agitation by project oustees and CPI (M) cadres in intervals, the river gap could be filled up to 101.5 meters only against 103.5 meters. As a result, the flood flow could not be restricted. The spillway was designed to discharge 1.40 lakh cusecs and the recent flow was only 48,000 cusecs, they explained. The CPI (M) MLA took exception to shifting blame on his party cadre and demanded an inquiry. Padala Aruna (TDP), MLA, recalled that no action was taken when retaining wall of the project collapsed in the past.

Collector’s report

Collector B. Kishore, in his report on rain damages, said that 77 minor tanks developed breaches and the loss was put at Rs.1.90 crores. A 30-year-old man was electrocuted in Pachipenta mandal and the administration was considering compensation of Rs.1 lakh to the kin.

On the agriculture operations, M.N. Gangaram, Joint Director (agriculture) said that transplantation of paddy was completed in 40,000 ha against the normal of 1.04 lakh ha. S.K. Ranga Rao, Bobbili MLA, complained that PACS were unable to distribute fertilizers due to inadequate supplies.

Expressing concern over delay in execution of minor irrigation projects like Adarigedda, Vattigedda, Gummadigedda etc in Parvathipuram division, Minister for Forests S. Vijayarama Raju warned officials of severe action if the projects were not completed in three months. Regarding the ‘Indiramma’ houses, TDP and Congress MLAs complained to Minister for Housing Botcha Satyanarayana that beneficiaries had not been getting bridge loans from bankers. The Minister said that he would also consider involvement of private banks in this regard.

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