Kondaveeti vaagu is the X factor of the Amaravati capital city region. It can be a boon at the best of times and a villain in the worst of times. Ever since Amaravati has been chosen as the capital area, many doubts have been expressed on the role Kondaveeti vaagu can play.
It can supply drinking water to Amaravati if utilised well. It can also flood the whole CRDA area if not dealt with properly. In view of the Hyderabad floods, which followed the Chennai floods last year, the importance of long term planning of Kondaveeti vaagu becomes even more significant.
Not that the AP government is ignorant of the issue. CRDA is seized of the matter and several discussions have been held even earlier with the master planners from Singapore. Andhra Nation covered some of these in its earlier articles. Click Here.
Now with National Green Tribunal (NGT) too seeking clarity on how CRDA plans to deal with Kondaveeti vaagu, the issue is on the table once again. CRDA has proposed to de-link Kondaveeti Vagu from Guntur Channel in a bid to mitigate losses. Kondaveeti Vagu that empties into river Krishna upstream of Prakasam barrage is linked to Guntur Channel, which is at a slightly higher plane.
Officials realised that separating Kondaveeti Vagu from Guntur Channel would prevent flooding of areas in the capital city to a large extent. They have also proposed to pump out water from the stream into the Krishna in case of a heavy flood discharge.
CRDA will submit the latest proposal to National Green Tribunal (NGT), which is hearing a batch of petitions related to the capital city. Guntur Channel supplies water to Guntur city and provides irrigation to about 23,000 acres in the district.The popular belief is that Guntur Channel draws water from the Prakasam barrage directly. In reality, Kondaveeti Vagu is the connecting link between Krishna river and Guntur Channel. There was no problem with the stream before the construction of the barrage. It began flooding the region after the barrage was constructed and was linked to Guntur Channel. The backwaters of Kondaveeti Vagu inundates large tracts of land.Even 20 mm rainfall leads to flooding.
On average 750 cusecs of water flows into Guntur Channel from Vagu daily. The CRDA has proposed a new sluice at Prakasam barrage to delink the channel from Vagu. The project may not cost more than Rs 50 lakh. Construction of a sluice will limit inundation to just 3,000 acres. Officials have also proposed diversion of flood water from Vagu to Krishna’s western main canal.
Time of India reports that CRDA will argue before the NGT that Kondaveeti Vagu per se is not a problem and floods can be controlled by de-linking it from the Guntur Channel. The master plan for the capital city could not be completed with the flood management plan for Kondaveeti Vagu pending. CRDA has started distribution of plots to participants of the land pooling scheme in some villages. Unless the flood management plan is ready, the CRDA cannot go ahead with the construction of the capital city. It is also needed to lay roads.