Amaravati, Nov 25 (PTI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Monday launched a Rs 85,160-crore project to link Godavari with Pennar rivers to supply water to drought affected Rayalaseema region, part of the government’s overall plan to link five main rivers in the state.
“We are going ahead with linking the five main rivers in the state Godavari, Krishna, Nagavali, Vamsadhara and Pennar. There will be no drought in the state once the interlinking of rivers is completed,” an official release quoted him as saying at the foundation stone-laying ceremony.
By already linking the Godavari and Krishna rivers in 2016, history had been created in the state, he said.
The Chief Minister laid the foundation stone at Nakarikallu for the first phase of the interlinking project, under which water will be pumped into the Nagarjuna Sagar right canal using five lifts.
This phase would cost Rs 6,020 crore, under which an ayacut of 9.61 lakh acres in the upland regions of Guntur and Prakasam districts would be stabilised, the release said.
Over 15,000 cusecs are being diverted to the Krishna river from Godavari through the Pattisam and Chintalapudi lift schemes, it said.
Of this, 7,000 cusecs would be utilised by farmers in the Krishna delta region and another 7,000 would be pumped into the Nagajuna Sagar right canal.
In case of floods in the river Godavari, the government estimates that it could divert about 73 tmc ft to this canal, it said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that over 2,500 tmc ft went waste this year as it flowed into the Bay of Bengal from the Godavari.
“If we can divert about 600-700 tmc ft of this water, we can eliminate drought in the state,” he added.
The Chief Minister directed the contractor to complete the first phase by April 2019 so that water could be made available for the kharif season, the release said.
“This will also mitigate the drinking water crisis in Guntur district,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that work on 60 irrigation projects was being carried out on a priority basis.
He also said that 61 per cent of work on the Polavaram project was over and that water, through gravity, would be supplied by May 2019 when the project is fully completed.
The Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, Minister P P Rao and D U Rao, local legislators were among those who participated in the function.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.