Fund crunch hits irrigation projects in Chittoor district
M Srinivasa Murthy Chittoor: Paucity of funds and hiccups in obtaining some clearances from different departments have hit the construction...
M Srinivasa Murthy Chittoor: Paucity of funds and hiccups in obtaining some clearances from different departments have hit the construction works of different irrigation projects taken up by the State government under the Jalayagnam in Chittoor district. In spite of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy representing the district, many irrigation works have come to a standstill at various levels and there is no sign of completing these works in the near future. The State government made a proposal of interlinking all ponds and village tanks with the Anantha Venkata Reddy Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanthi project and NTR (Kalavakunta) reservoir under the Jalayagnam programme and earmarked Rs 1.5 crore under the first phase and Rs 5 crore under the second phase for these works some years back. However, due to lack of coordination between the elected representatives and officials concerned, works have been confined to only the land survey level and there is no headway in these works. Few months back, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, addressing the Chittoor district's centenary celebrations, announced a package of Rs 4,500 crore for solving drinking water scarcity in the district. The Chief Minister said that the announced budget would be spent for supplying drinking water to all the villages in Chittoor district from Kandaleru reservoir of Nellore district. However, the officials concerned conducted only the survey works but have not called for the tenders so far. As a result, the proposal of supplying drinking water to villages from Kandaleru reservoir still remains a dream. According to official sources, it will take at least two years for the commencement of works as the tender process is yet to be completed. Under the Handri Neeva project, the government has decided to provide water to about 1.80 lakh acres in Tamballapalli, Madanapalli, Punganuru and Pileru Assembly constituencies and to supply drinking water to Madanapalli division in Chittoor district.A Under the first phase, the Government allocated Rs 660 crore to the project, but it needs another Rs 900 crore for the completion of works. On the other hand, the district is reeling under drought-like situation and ground water tables reached alarming levels across the district. A The people living in Madanapalli division are facing a severe water problem and standing crops are being damaged due to lack of water and unscheduled power cuts. The people urged Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to take the initiative and allocate adequate budget for the completion of the proposed irrigation projects in Chittoor district.