Serious threat to Krishna river ecology
Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official from the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) said, “At present the estimated sand deposits have been coming under stress both from the regular as well as illegal mining, and already the sand deposits are thin and scanty at several places and given the current and future demand forecasts of construction activity and development within the Kr
Vijayawada: The sand deposits have gone down significantly on the banks of River Krishna due to indiscriminate and illegal sand mining at several places in the three districts of Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool. Unless there is a check on the sand mining it could badly affect the river ecology.
The growing demand for sand and illegal sand mining is taking a toll on the existing sand deposits of the river. “If the indiscriminate lifting of sand is continued then the existing sand deposits particularly in Krishna and Guntur districts as well as Kurnool may last only for another three to four years,” official sources pointed out.
Only heavy inflows into the river during the next three years will help in sand accumulation on the river bed and enable it to retain water holding capacity.
As of now there are 40 sand reaches spread across the three districts and the estimated sand deposits are pegged at 3,048.048 Cu M in Krishna available in 16 sand reaches and about 4,413.249 Cu M in Guntur available at 12 sand reaches. The sand availability in Kurnool district has been estimated at 660.965 Cu M and it has been sold through 12 sand reaches.
In Krishna district, sand reaches located in the adjoining villages of the river like Chandarlapadu, Mylavaram, Kanchikacherla, Mylavaram, Jaggaiahpet and the like have earned the dubious distinction of rampant illegal sand mining over the years and at several places, the sand reaches were overexploited, the irrigation sources pointed out.
Similar is the case with the areas around Amavarati and adjoining mandals in Guntur district abutting the River Krishna. In Kurnool district, the village of Panchalingala was a case to point out the overexploitation of sand, due to illegal sand mining, the sources added.
Senior officials from irrigation department pointed out that the sand deposits on the banks of River Godavari were much larger than the sand deposits on the banks of River Krishna.
Nearly, 4000 to 4,500 tmcft of water comes into River Godavari from Sabari. And, there are no projects in about 300 to 350 kms, upstream of Cotton Barrage at Dowlaiswaram. This allows building up of sand deposits over the sand bed and the current estimated land deposits in Godavari were pegged at 65 lakh Cu M.
But, when it comes to Krishna, it has so many projects upstream of Prakasam Barrage, both within the State as well as in the upper riparian States within a distance of about 100 to 150 Km. This prevents the sand building up at upstream and unless there are heavy floods, accumulation of sand deposits on the banks of the river is not possible.
Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official from the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) said, “At present the estimated sand deposits have been coming under stress both from the regular as well as illegal mining, and already the sand deposits are thin and scanty at several places and given the current and future demand forecasts of construction activity and development within the Krishna and Guntur districts, the existing sand deposits would last not more than three to four years,” he added.
This puts the river ecology of Krishna at a critical position. Because, mining down to the river bed-level as it was carried out in places like Panchalingala village on AP side and Pullar village on TS side would make the river to lose its water holding capacity.
And, as the inflows into the river were meagre, unless the river gets heavy floods in next three to four years, the Krishna river ecology in Kurnool, Guntur and Krishna districts will come under severe stress, the irrigation sources added.