|The State government is giving a great amount of importance to water conservation and in the past three years it has spent ₹10,867.20 crore on various water conservation activities and structures, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has said.|
Addressing farmers after launching the 116-day water conservation programme with desilting of the Palavadu stream at Venkatayapalem in Thullur mandal here on Monday, the Chief Minister said that water was becoming more and more scarce and “water wars were taking place.” States were fighting with one another for river water and cited Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as examples. For this reason, Andhra Pradesh was going to make optimum use of water. He said rainwater should be sent into fields or stored as groundwater.
The ground should be converted into a reservoir in such a way that there would be no problem of land acquisition, he pointed out.
Giving figures, Mr. Naidu said that 68.456 crore CuM of earthwork was done in the past three years as part of desilting irrigation tanks. Similarly 500 lakh CuM of earthwork was taken up to strengthen bunds of irrigation tanks.
As much as17.760 CuM of concrete work was taken up for construction of sluices and weirs and 11,078 shutters were repaired or replaced, 62,880 check-dams were created and 1,048 cascades were developed, he said.
The Chief Minister said the Godavari and the Krishna rivers had already been linked and in future all rivers in the State would be linked to make it a drought- free place.
Ministers Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao, Prathipati Pulla Rao, Nara Lokesh and Nakka Ananda Babu participated in the programme.
Call to WUAs
Later, speaking to the media, Mr. Uma Maheswara Rao said that all the APSIDC schemes would be brought under one umbrella soon. Urging the Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) to take an active part in the 116-day water conservation drive, the Minister said that elections would be held for WUAs, distributary committees and project committees after the water conservation drive.
He said out of the 40,000 tanks in the State, about 10,000 needed desilting and repairs.
They would be taken up during these 116 days.
The Minister said the Andhra Pradesh Remote Sensing Applications Centre (APSRAC) and ISRO would guide the Irrigation engineers in finding the ideal locations for the check-dams and cascades, he said.