Water scarcity looms large over Amaravati

Major drinking water plans required on war footing.

Vijayawada: The state government selected the Amaravati capital location because it had adequate water. Contrary to its expectations, drinking water scarcity is being experienced in Krishna delta. The situation calls for precautionary measures.

Irrigation experts and officials say Amaravati capital city needs assured share of drinking water from Krishna River, much like Hyderabad. As per capital plans nearly 4 to 10 TMC feet of water is required for drinking water at Amaravati. With lands near to capital city earmarked as industrial hub, that too needs water.

Pulichintala project near Amaravati capital city location has 45 TMC feet water storage capacity. But at present no water is in the reservoir. Currently 2 TMC feet water can be stored at Prakasam barrage. The water could be supplied to capital city from Krishna River waters only. But the present water reserves of Krishna River indicate the future water problems of Krishna delta.

The state government planned to construct one barrage near Amaravati capital city for storing 4 TMC feet water to supply drinking water. But presently one TMC of water is also not available in Krishna River. If the same water scarcity situation repeats in Krishna River, even if the government constructs the barrage it would be of no use says Krishna Delta Rytanga Parirakshana Samiti president, Erneni Nagendranath.

He asked the government to shift Pattiseema waters from the Krishna River to Pulichintala project with reverse turbines-support. He said that Godavari waters could be stored in the Krishna at the Pulichintala project.

Former irrigation chief engineer, V. Satyanarayana said that water supply capacity from Godavari should be increased. The water should be stored by constructing barrage exclusively for Amaravati capital city drinking water purpose. He said that rain water passing through rivulets from Khamam district to Krishna River, can also be stored.

Special water quota sought for capital area

The officials of irrigation department have requested the state government to demand special water quota for Amaravati capital city from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) in the next discussion between AP-Telangana and KRMB on water sharing issues and projects.

An official, on the condition of anonymity, said the state government should get special share of Krishna water for Amaravati capital city. He said Telangana government was initiating irrigation projects without any approval from KRMB. The two states would discuss matters related to water sharing and the new projects during the next meeting and the government should have clarity on the drinking water share for the new capital city. He said Krishna delta might face more challenges in future and assured water for capital city is important.

AP irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said the state government would take all necessary steps to protect the drinking water needs of Amaravati capital city. He said the government would discuss the issue with KRMB officials and there was no need to worry about drinking water for Amaravati.

Meanwhile, MLC C. Ramachandraiah alleged that the government is not taking water sharing issues seriously. He cited Telangana irrigation projects as example and said AP government has neglected the matter.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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