Andhra Pradesh has 40 major, medium and minor rivers. Of them, 15 are inter-state.
Visakhapatnam: After linking the Krishna and Godavari rivers, the Andhra Pradesh government has now set its sights on interlinking the Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers that flow through Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts in north Andhra.
While there are half a dozen minor irrigation projects on the Nagavali, there is only one project on the Vamsadhara due to which its water is not being properly utilised. A committee which was appointed by the state government to look into the aspects of interlinking the rivers in north Andhra has recently submitted its report.
"A simple 30-km-long canal is what is needed to link the Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers. It will run from Hiramandalam rese-rvoir to Narayanapuram barrage near Amudalaval-asa, and bring an additional 50,000 acres of ayacut under irrigation, deploying an additional 10 TMC of water. It will cost `80 crore, but there will be no need for pumps as needed in Pattiseema. Water can be utilised with gravity.
"While there is stress on the Nagavali basin due to a larger number of projects, the Vamsadhara river water is being under-utilised, which can be remedied by thus interlinking the rivers," said retired chief engineer of the state irrigation department S. Satyanarayana, who led a committee that was appointed by the state government to look into the matter.
Irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao had earlier said the Vamsadhara and Nagavali waters would be supplied up to the Ichapuram border.
Interlinking of rivers is a challenging task in rugged terrain, with constraints like railways, roads, settlements, forests and also some geomorphologic features to contend with. Researchers at the Dehradun-based Institute of Remote Sensing prepared a routing map for interlinking the two rivers, using geosptatial data.
"The routing map, obtained from a developed spatial decision model, is published on to the GeoServer, which is added to the Bhuvan portal. This developed model can provide much information to various categories of people like farmers, water managers, engineers and administrators.
"The routing map of proposed canals focuses on transferring the surplus waters to drought-prone areas to properly utilise the flood waters for irrigational purposes and also help in recharging groundwater.
"A similar methodology can be adopted in other interlinking of river systems," said the committee’s report, which was prepared by Swathi Lakshmi, Sameer Saran, S.K. Srivastav and Y.V.N. Krishna Murthy of the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing.