Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Aug. 3

THE Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, has called for a concerted effort to complete 33 major irrigation projects, for which Rs 50,000 crore has been earmarked.

Expressing concern over floodwaters discharged into the sea untapped, the Chief Minister in an open letter advocated a joint effort by all political parties and interested groups to fully harness the potential in the Krishna and Godavari basins in the State.

Dr Reddy said more than 700 tmcft of Godavari water has already flowed into the sea and more than 500 tmcft of Krishna water will also go untapped. The significance can be gauged from the fact that one tmcft of water can irrigate about 10,000 acres.

Nearly 3,000 tmcft of Godavari floodwater goes untapped. The State plans to divert the floodwater to the Krishna basin. The Chief Minister said in a press release that farming operations in the Krishna basin covering Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nalgonda, Kurnool and Kadapa districts have gained momentum following the recent rains and release of water into canals from major reservoirs.

This would help farmers cultivate the entire 11-lakh acres ayacut in the Krishna basin, besides the cultivation in the Godavari ayacut. Nearly 95 per cent of these farmers also receive free power.

The Government has identified 33 major irrigation projects covering drought-prone and backward areas and recently finalised tenders worth Rs 30,000 crore for engineering, procurement and construction. This includes four projects on the Godavari river that have been pending for decades. The Chief Minister said the Government was committed to complete eight of the identified projects within two years.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 4, 2005)
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