Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the Irrigation Department to step up focus on irrigation projects in the State.

He asked officials to pay attention to completing the R&R (Rehabilitation and Relocation) works of the Polavaram Project while formulating an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to make the non-operating lift irrigation schemes functional by involving farmers’ committees.

Necessary soil tests should be conducted on the seepage area and on the strength of the diaphragm wall before taking up the works in ECRF (Earth cum Rock Fill Dam) at Polavaram Project which is still reeling under 2.5 lakh cusecs of flood water, said the Chief Minister, adding that R&R works could be taken up in the meantime.

Veligonda Project

Reddy took stock of the ongoing irrigation works in progress and instructed the officials to expedite the balance work relating to the 3.4 km long second tunnel of the Veligonda Project and accord priority for the construction of a barrage downstream of Prakasam Barrage on Krishna River.

Officials informed him that preparations were underway for laying the foundation stone for the lift irrigation scheme to pump water from Gotta Barrage into Hiramandalam Reservoir in December while the Tarakarama Teertha Sagar works in Vizianagaram district will begin in November.

Almost all reservoirs in the State were full up to 90 per cent even after several TMCs of water were released into the sea in the wake of incessant rains, according to a release.