No fund crunch for Jalayagnam: Ponnala

Special Correspondent

39 projects prioritised for completion soon, says Minister

‘Rs. 9,650-crore action plan finalised to develop minor irrigation sources'

Special panel to study installation of mini-hydel stations on irrigation canals

HYDERABAD: Denying the charge that Jalayagnam has been slowed down due to paucity of funds, Major Irrigation Minister P. Lakshmaiah has said a record number of 39 projects have been prioritised for completion soon with a heavy budget of Rs. 6,900 crore.

These projects will provide water to 14.33 lakh acres additionally and stabilise an existing ayacut of 2.13 lakh acres.

Speaking to reporters after Chief Minister K. Rosaiah reviewed the progress of projects under Jalayagnam here on Monday, Mr. Lakshmaiah refuted the allegations that the government had diluted Jalayagnam, made “false claims” about the additional ayacut created under the programme and that activity in the projects had slowed down.

He admitted that Jalayagnam faced crisis sometime ago under the impact of the economic slowdown, but the situation had changed. The government had “re-oriented” Jalayagnam by finalizing a new schedule for completing 39 projects on the fast track.

However, the overall priority assigned to Jalayagnam remained unchanged.

A milestone

The Minister announced that that water was released from Owk reservoir in Kurnool district to Gandikota project and from there to Mylavaram dam in Kadapa district on an experimental basis. “This is another milestone achieved under Jalayagnam.”

The Dummagudem and Kanthanapalli projects which would have hydel power stations, had been shifted from the purview of AP Genco to the Irrigation Department for execution.

Tenders will be called in a month for their execution on BOT basis.

He said a special committee would be constituted with the three irrigation secretaries to study installation of min-hydel stations on existing irrigation canals and submit its report in two weeks.

Minor Irrigation Minister V. Sunitha Laksma Reddy said a Rs. 9,650-crore action plan had been finalised to develop minor irrigation sources like tanks and provide water to 9.4 lakh acres additionally by 2014.

With this, the total area covered by minor irrigation sources would reach 42 lakh acres.