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Water released into KE main canal

Staff Reporter

District Collector Navin Mittal attends the puja conducted by irrigation officials

Minister Pinnamaneni does not turn up as election code is in forceOfficials instructed to initially release 500 cusecs of water each into Eluru, Ryve's and Bandar canals

VIJAYAWADA: Water for agriculture operations in kharif season was released into the canals that irrigate the Krishna eastern delta from the head sluice of the Krishna Eastern main canal here on Thursday. Water was released in line with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's assurance to delta farmers, even though many repair works are still in various stages of completion.

District Collector Navin Mittal attended the puja conducted by irrigation officials before release of water. Higher Education Minister Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao, who was scheduled to do the honours, did not turn up on account of the election code in force.

The Collector ordered the lashkar, the worker who regularly operates the sluice gates, to switch on the motor to raise the gates for release of water from the barrage into the main canal.

Maintenance works

The Collector instructed irrigation officials to release 500 cusecs of water, to begin with, into each of the three canals, i.e. Eluru, Ryve's and Bandar.

Mr. Mittal said only 182 out of the 536 operation and maintenance (O&M) works that were proposed could be taken up. Similarly, only 148 out of 220 special repair works proposed were taken up. These works were in various stages of execution in the canals and channels and would be continued till the last moment.

P.V.K.N. Bapuji, superintending engineer of the Pulichintala project, who is holding additional charge of the Vijayawada irrigation circle, said priority would be given to filling up drinking water and summer storage tanks. Water would be supplied for raising seedbeds beginning with the tail-end areas.

He said 128 tmc ft of water was released into the canals (both Eastern Main covering Krishna and West Godavari districts and Western Main covering Guntur and Prakasam districts) during the previous kharif.

The allocation of water from Nagarjuna Sagar was 181 tmcft, but the entire amount was rarely utilised because a part of the requirement was supplemented by rainfall in the delta.

Executive engineer Suryanaryana said that most of the weed removal and desilting works had been completed. Construction of retaining walls and revetment of embankments were in progress.

Vijayawada circle deputy superintending engineer K. Rajendra Prasad and anicut superintendent N. Benerji were present.