Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said here on Monday his government was committed to give water to the tail-end areas in East Godavari district and would release 3,500 cusecs from Godavari into the Polavaram left canal and lift the water at about 50 km to send 1,400 cusecs into the Yeleru canal. He reiterated that at any cost they would release water into the Yeleru canal by August 15 by completing the first phase of Purushothapatnam.
He addressed the media after a 90-minute inspection of the Purushothapatnam lift irrigation project work in Seethanagaram mandal, 32 km from Rajamahedravaram.
He said he was working for the State’s interests, but some people were indulging in false propaganda on irrigation projects.
He said farmers were voluntarily surrendering their land for the projects and he would work for their welfare.
The CM said by lifting 1,400 cusecs, the Yeleru reservoir capacity would increase from 13 to 28 TMCs through which 67,614 acres would be stabilised. Under the Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanti project, the irrigation department would pump water into the Pushkara canal through the Yeleru reservoir from which water would be taken to Visakhapatnam for drinking purposes.
Mr. Naidu said under this project 2.27 lak acres would be irrigated and Vizag would get 10 TMC. He said 67% works of the first phase and 20% of the second phase in Purushothapatnam had been completed and directed the engineers and the contractor to complete the remaining work and ensure that water was released by August 15 through two of the 10 pumps. The remaining work would be completed by October.
The Chief Minister recalled that in the name of modernisation earlier governments had ditched the farmers, but his government was committed to give water to rabi and khairf seasons without any break in East and West Godavari districts through the Pattiseema, Pushkara and Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation schemes.
He said Loksatta leader Jayaprakash Narayana and CPI leader Narayana who visited Polavaram recently had appreciated the ongoing work, which showed the commitment of the State government.
To a question, Mr. Naidu said the land acquisition for the Polvaram project needed ₹32,000 crore and another ₹16,000 crore to construct the project. His government would address the land acquisition issues.
The State government had spent ₹3,500 crore on Polavaram till now and the Central government was ready to pay ₹1,000 crore. Home Minister N. Chinna Rajappa, Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Rajamahendravaram MP M. Muralimohan, local MLA Pendurthi Venkatesh, Engineer-in-chief M. Venkateswara Rao and superintending engineer of Purushothapatnam S. Sugunakar Rao were present during the CM’s visit.