Nellore: AP Irrigation minister P. Anilkumar Yadav has ordered the irrigation department to launch a drive to remove the encroachments in all the canals and tanks in the state.
He was reacting to a story published in Deccan Chronicle two days back over encroachments in water bodies posing a threat to availability of water for drinking and irrigation and drop in groundwater levels.
Speaking to this newspaper, he said he also sought a detailed report from the irrigation department on encroachments in all the tanks in the district.
The minister maintained that they intended to renovate all the tanks in the district and carry out de-silting operations in a phased manner. To avoid any burden on the treasury for the activity, the silt would be sold to interested parties including real estate promoters for raising the height of their layouts.
Reacting to a question on his plans to improve the functioning of Nellore Municipal Corporation, he said that his first priority was to improve sanitary conditions to optimum levels and improve the infrastructure in all the civic body- run schools.
When asked about the financial crisis in the corporation, he said the authorities should suggest some cost-cutting measures to reduce the expenditure and advised that all works that required funds be stopped for the next six months to increase the volume of reserve funds.
“We will go for development activity on a massive scale after one year with the saved funds,” Dr Anilkumar asserted.
Meanwhile, the minister promised to rebuild a damaged groyne which was preventing the mixing of seawater with Kalangi river at Chenigunta near Sullurpeta.
Locals complained that there were problems for drinking water in 15 villages and irrigation for 5,000 acres of agriculture land due to saltwater incursion from Pulicat lake to the river.
Responding to opposition allegations over halting Polavaram project works, he said they would go for reverse tendering in view of the committee report on corruption to the extent of `2,500 cr in the project.
The exercise would begin after November after the flood conditions recede, he noted. He instructed the officials to demolish illegal structures on Nerri Kaluva at Sullurpeta after noticing sewage water from the town mixing in the irrigation canal. He unveiled a gold armor at Changala Parameswari temple at Sullurpeta.