ANANTAPUR: “Restoration and renovation of tanks should be given paramount importance while the Rayalaseema region has no minimum water allocation and equitable distribution. Local priorities seem to take precedence over common interests of these areas,” a team of experts and activists from Rayalaseema Region has opined.
Reservoirs Tungabhadra, Srisailam and several projects had been initiated to bring water to Kurnool Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor districts. But, lack of unanimity among the Rayalaseema leaders has been a major impediment, they said.
Experts Dr Malla Reddy of RDT, Dr Suresh Babu of Praja Science Vedika, HRF Rama Kumar and Bhasha were among those who took part in the meeting here on Monday. “Srisailam dam received 103tmc-ft of floodwater from Tungabhadra dam last year. The water released from Tungabhadra to the Srisailam dam crossed more than 100tmc-ft.”
“The HNSS project, implemented in 2012 designed for 3850 cusecs, hardly brings 2200 cusecs of water to Anantapur district,” Dr Suresh Babu observed.
The state government’s proposal to widen the HNSS canal’s carrying capacity to 6000 cusecs met with resistance from politicians in the region, it was noted.
“Politically assertive public representatives have been taking the lion’s share of water to their constituencies, ignoring the needs of lakhs of other people. Flood irrigation was the worst method of use of available water in the parched lands of Anantapur,” the experts observed and demanded that the governments should be positive in their attitudes and approaches towards drought-hit areas.
They added: “In the latest budget, the irrigation sector has been completely sidelined. The Galeru Nagari project was shelved and works on Handri Neeva were stopped. The Irrigation department has not taken care of even a single tank. Nor has it taken up any maintenance or repair work.”