In the ongoing season of political ‘padayatras’ in Andhra Pradesh, yet another foot march is beginning tomorrow from Kurnool district in the State.

The new ‘padayatra’ is being undertaken by State Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy to celebrate the inauguration of an irrigation scheme in the perennially drought-hit Rayalaseema region.

TDP Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party leader Sharmila, sister of party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, have already begun state-wide ’padayatras’.

Raghuveera Reddy’s foot march, named ‘Bhagiratha Vijaya Yatra’, would begin at Malyala in Kurnool on November 18 and end at Jeedipalli in Anantapur district on November 29.

The ‘Anantha Venkata Reddy Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi’ irrigation project is conceived by lifting flood flows of Krishna river from the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir for providing drinking water for about 33 lakh people and creating an irrigation potential of over six lakh acres.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy would open the first pump house on November 18, as part of the opening of first phase of the project, at Malyala in Kurnool. State Congress President Botsa Satyanarayana would flag off the ‘padayatra’.

Raghuveera Reddy’s ‘padayatra’ would cover a distance of 236 kms in 12 days.

The realisation of the project is a dream coming true for the parched lands of Rayalaseema as the project was first conceived during the British rule, Raghuveera said.

The irrigation commission of the Centre had identified Rayalaseema districts, including Anantapur, Kurnool, Chittoor and Kadapa, as chronically drought affected way back in 1972, officials said.

Naidu’s state-wide ‘padayatra’, named ‘Vastunna... Mee Kosam’ (I will be there for you) began on October two (birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi) in Anantapur district and was scheduled to end in Srikakulam district on January 26.

The TDP chief has already covered a distance of about 700 km covering Anantapur, Kurnool, Mahabubnagar districts and is currently touring Ranga Reddy district.

Meanwhile, Sharmila began her walkathon on October 19 from the YSR family estate at Idupulapaya in native Kadapa district, where her father late Rajasekhara Reddy’s samadhi is located, and covered the districts of Kadapa, Anantapur. She will cover a total distance of 3,000 km.

(This article was published on November 17, 2012)
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