ANDHRA PRADESH

A long pending demand realised



Suresh Krishnamoorthy

YSR announces permanent allocation of 10 tmcft water to PABR



Estimates will soon be finalised for widening and modernisation of PABRSri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project to get more waterImpetus for dairy development



HYDERABAD: The announcement of a permanent allocation of 10 tmcft of water for Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir (PABR) by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Thursday takes a nearly two-and-a-half decades old dream closer to reality than ever before.

In a district which receives just 519 mm of rainfall annually, second lowest only after Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, the allocation means a lot, for apart from taking care of irrigation needs, it promises to wet parched throats by catering to the Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project at an estimated Rs. 250 crores.

This apart, estimates to the tune of Rs. 500 crores will soon be finalised for widening and modernisation, including concrete lining of the Tungabhadra High Level Canal, starting from the dam at Hospet to the Anantapur district border.

The Rs. 150 crores announced for dairy development should see livestock development come in handy for farmers.

The foundation for PABR was laid during Marri Channa Reddy's tenure as Chief Minister, the reservoir was made fit for a storage level of 5 TMC in 1994 and brought up to full storage level of 10 TMC around 1999. Until a couple of years ago, scores of representations from the district went unheeded and it was only before the general elections that allocation of 5 TMC was seriously contemplated.

Interestingly, approximately Rs. 150 crores has been spent on the PABR and related works and yet for over two decades, nothing concrete came up regarding allocation of assured water.

Once Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy became Chief Minister, much pressure was brought on him primarily from Congress leaders, important among them being Ministers -- N. Raghuveera Reddy (Agriculture), J.C. Diwakar Reddy (Panchayat Raj), Anantapur MP Venkata Rami Reddy, former MLA Y. Sivarami Reddy (Uravakonda) and several others.



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