Critics be damned. Recall all those politicians, pundits and so-called experts who said Pattiseema is a waste. Time has come for all these to eat their own words.
With the Godavari receiving significant inflows in the first month of the monsoon, the Chandrababu government has decided to operate all the 24 pumps of the Pattiseema lift irrigation from July 6 to divert flood waters into the Polavaram Right Main Canal and thereon to the Krishna river basin upstream of the Prakasam barrage.
Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s elation was evident as he announced this at a news conference on Saturday, and he made an effusive appeal to farmers in the Krishna delta to go forth and raise paddy nurseries from July 10. “Pattiseema is paying off,” Chandrababu Naidu said.
Though Pattiseema was commissioned in September last year, this would be the first time that all its pumps would be switched on. For Naidu it’s an opportunity to score a political point with the opposition YSR Congress, which has always carped that Pattiseema is a waste of money.
Chandrababu Naidu said farmers in the Krishna delta would be able to reap two crops this year, beginning with the kharif crop in July. This is unlike in the past when raising nurseries and transplantation used to be delayed by months due to lack of water for farmers dependent on the Prakasam reservoir. By sowing in July, farmers in Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam would be able to bring in their harvests well ahead of the cyclone season of November.
Chandrababu Naidu said work on the Tammileru and Ramileru reservoirs too has been completed so that discharge from the two rivulets would be available to supplement the Godavari water impounded into the Polavaram Right Main Canal. If the Krishna barrage receives the Godavari water, it would bring cheer to farmers in the Krishna district as well the TDP government which estimates that there would be a bounty of Rs 2500 crore if the monsoon crop was sown and reaped early.
At the news conference, the chief minister’s attention was drawn to the controversy over the Palar check dam in his Kuppam constituency in Chittoor district. Naidu said he disapproved of his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa’s objection to the proposal to raise the height of the check dam by 5-12 ft. “It is in the proposal stage. It is a very small check dam. It hardly serves 4,000 acres. Yet the Tamil Nadu chief minister has taken objection to it,” he said.
Palar is a small rivulet that originates in Karnataka, and flows thorough Kuppam before entering Tamil Nadu. The check dam is located at Perumaballam village in Naidu’s constituency. “This check dam is the last minor irrigation tank in AP on the rivulet. We have not raised the height. It is only in a proposal stage,” he said.
However, the chief minister was in an expansive mood, and stated that the Godavari good fortune this year is proof of feasibility of another of his pet ideas, the interlinking of rivers. “We have successfully linked the Godavari with the Krishna. Now we want to link Krishna with Penna and Nagavali with Vamsadhara,” he said, adding that the survey for the Nagavali-Vamsadhara link has already been done. The Krishna-Penna assignment has been entrusted to Water And Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS).
Referring to the progress of the other irrigation projects in the state, the chief minister pointed out that the Polavaram Left Main Canal would be ready by next year and stage II phase II of the Vamsadhara project would be done by June next year.
The state government has released RS. 417 crore for rehabilitation of oustees of these projects. Thotapalli is almost ready to yield water to 74,000 acres and the first phase of Velugonda would be completed by December next year and the second phase by December 2018. Gundlakamma will be ready by October 2017 and Galeru Nagari first phase by June 30 next year.