GUNTUR: Pulichintala project first time stored water after its inauguration and this project to become important water source to supply irrigation and drinking water to new capital Amaravati and other areas. The Pulichintala project was first proposed by then British engineer, Col Ellis in the year 1911 but it failed to start. The then British government turned down the proposal due to the availability of dam on the Krishna river at Vijayawada. (This dam later named as Prakasam Barrage which now became an icon of Vijayawada).
The then CM of United AP, N.T. Rama Rao laid foundation stone for Pulichintala on November 13, 1988, but the project failed to materialise. Further the then CM, Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy in the year 2005 started prestigious Jalayagnam and Pulichintala was the first project to include in the Jalayagnam. But his ambition of completion of Pulichintala did not complete due to his sudden death. Later, the last CM of united AP, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy opened Pulichintala on December 7, 2103.
The Singaporean planners based on the demand projections suggested need of 606.7MLD (0.021 TMC feet per day) or 221445.5 ML (7.8 TMC feet) of potable water per year to the new capital Amaravati. They further proposed using of 5 TMC feet water of Kondaveeti Vagu and further construction of a barrage at Vykunthapuram or old Amaravati to store water on the Krishna river and providing direct road connectivity to new capital Amaravati from Hydera-bad highway without touching Vijayawada.
“The water prediction in the Kondaveeti Vagu related to heavy floods but no flood was registered in the recent past,” said irrigation expert K. Venkateswara Rao. He said that storing water in the Pulichintala is the best method as it can supply water to Amaravati and to the farmers during dry condition. “This year 5 TMC feet water of Pulichintala was used for Krishna Pushkaralu and to save crops in this kharif season in Guntur district. So, the government should store at least 30 TMC ft of water in Pulichintala reservoir.”
Senior officials of the CRDA, on the condition of anonymity, have opined that the best option of storing water for Amaravati is Pulichintala and second option if construction is of new barrage on the Krishna river. They felt that the Singaporean planners did not consider Pulichintala. So, the government can give priority to Pulichintala which can store 45.77 TMC feet water saving wastage of water into the Bay of Bengal.
Pulichintala superintending engineer M. Venkataratnam said that 17.76 TMC feet water has been stored in the Pulichintala reservoir and the storage limit can be increased soon after resolving the pending issue of submerging villages. He added that as of now nearly 25 TMC feet water can be stored in Pulichintala giving good results by storing water without wastage.