The site of the proposed Munneru irrigation project near Mulkanur village under Garla mandal in Mahabubabad district
Photo: G Shyam Kumar
Mahabubabad: It’s been nearly four decades since Munneru irrigation project was mooted. However, not even a single brick was laid for its construction with the successive governments turning a blind eye.
The project was aimed at irrigating nearly 50,000 acres spread across six mandals – two in Mahabubabad and four in Khammam districts, besides catering to the drinking water needs of several villages.
The demand for the construction of a project across Munneru, a tributary of Krishna river, dates back to the times of the then Chief Minister T Anjaiah.
During his tenure and later in the regime of NT Rama Rao, the authorities conducted surveys and had decided to construct a project near Mulkanur village under Garla mandal, where Algeru stream waters merge with Munneru river.
According to initial estimates, the proposed 4 tmcft project was to benefit an ayacut of around 30,406 acres, at an estimated cost of Rs 104 crore.
Following the pressure exerted by Munneru Jala Sadhana Samiti (MJSS), led by Yellandu former MLA Gummadi Narsaiah, the then Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy accorded administrative sanctions (GO RT. 1076) for an amount of Rs 131.67 crore in 2009.
But after his untimely death, there was no headway in the project although his successor K Rosaiah made a promise to complete it within 18 months. During the Telangana movement, the TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao also supported the project and even promised to fulfil the locals’ long-cherished dream.
Speaking to The Hans India, MJSS honorary president Gummadi Narsaiah said, “Though we have fought relentlessly, the successive governments continued to ignore the project.”
MJSS member Kandunuri Eshwara Lingam said the project would become lifeline to the farmers in Garla, Bayyaram, Dornakal and Kamepally mandals, besides catering to the drinking water needs of people in Mahabubabad and Khammam towns.
Garla ZPTC Yeddu Madhavi said though the government was planning to address irrigation needs of the region by turning Rollapadu tank into a balancing reservoir, Munneru project was beneficial to a whole lot of farming community.
Meanwhile, the locals, while demanding the government to take up the project with immediate effect, urged the government to name the project after Dasarathi Krishnamacharya, a poet who fuelled the oppressed masses to raise a banner of revolt against the Nizam rule through his literary work, or Kala
Prakash Jain of Garla village, who laid his life for the cause of Telangana in 1969.