ANDHRA PRADESH

CPI(M) hails decision on Pothireddypadu issue

Special Correspondent

ONGOLE: The CPI(M) will launch an agitation if the Government fails to augment the capacities of Velugonda, Srisailam Left Bank Canal (SLBC) and Kalwakurthi projects along with Pothireddypadu head regulator and harness floodwaters of Krishna completely.

Speaking to newspersons here on Thursday, the party's State secretary B.V. Raghavulu welcomed the Government decision to increase the carrying capacity of Pothireddypadu head regulator from 12,000 to 40,000 cusecs on as the floodwater was available only for 30 days in a year to benefit Rayalaseema region. The Government contended that on an average 500 tmcft of Krishna water was going waste into the sea during the flood season that extended to only 30 days.

By increasing the capacity of Pothireddypadu head regulator, the Government wants to utilize 70 tmcft of surplus water besides 32 tmcft of assured water for the benefit of Rayalaseema region.

More lifts sought

Mr. Raghavulu said that on the same analogy, the capacity of Velugonda, SLBC tunnels should be increased and more lifts should be arranged on Kalwakurthi to harness floodwaters in just 30 days.

He pointed out that Velugonda project envisaged drawing 48 tmcft of water from Srisailam foreshore area and carry the same through 18 km-long tunnel in Nallamala hills to irrigate four lakh acres in Prakasam, Nellore and Kadapa districts. But the Government had reduced the tunnel diametre from 11 to 7 metres to irrigate only 1.2 lakh acres in Markapur area in the first phase. Saying that it would take 130 days for the 7-metre tunnel to draw 48 tmcft of water, he stressed the need to dig the tunnel with 11-metre diametre to draw the required water in 30 days of flood season.

Similarly, SLBC tunnel size should be increased to draw more water in limited period of floods.

The capacity of Kalwakurthi lift irrigation scheme also should be increased. Mr. Raghavulu demanded the Government to issue orders agreeing to these three proposals along with Pothireddypadu to harness the floodwaters of Krishna completely and to do justice to all the regions lest CPI(M) should launch an agitation.

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