Ongole: A host of irrigation projects launched a decade back in water starved Prakasam district have been progressing at snail’s pace because of technical problems, meagre fund allocation and delay in acquiring land. There have also been legal complications. One of the projects, Kandul Obul Reddy Gundlakamma Reservoir Project designed to irrigate 80,060 acres was the first irrigation project to be completed in the state under ‘Jalayagnam’ scheme. It was dedicated to the nation in 2008.
However, water could not be supplied to the entire ayacut for a longtime due to farmer's reluctance to offer 50 acres of land to complete the branch canals at Dudduru and Pamidipadu villages. Some of them also went to court against the land acquisition despite the authorities offering sizable compensation. If not for legal tangles pertaining to the 50 acres, water would have been available for 20,000 acres in the region, an irrigation official said.
As per the figures of the last three years, water was released for 12,500 acres in 2014-15 and 33,000 acres in 2015-16 as against total ayacut of 80,060 acres. Project Executive Engineer Azmath Khan said they can provide water for 55,000 to 60,000 acres during the ensuing crop season in view of progress in land acquisition. Chief Engineer (Projects), R. Reddaiah said that the Korisapadu Lift Irrigation Scheme intended to irrigate 20,000 acres in Korisapadu and Naguluppalapadu mandals was also affected by land acquisition issues while project execution is at snail’s pace with regard to Sri Pothula Chenchaiah Paleru Reservoir Project devised to bring 9,500 acres in to cultivation in 4 mandals of Prakasam district. Gundlakamma Reservoir Project is in Chinnamallavaram village in Maddipadu Mandal of Prakasam district.